MANCHAC, LA (WVUE) - An early morning accident on Interstate 55 claimed two lives - that of a an impaired driver and that of a Tickfaw father of four.
I-55 southbound between Manchac and Ruddock was closed for hours Tuesday as police investigated.
Louisiana State Police said the accident happened at about 4:30 a.m. between mile post 8 and 9.
Investigators said 32-year-old Brandon Craig, of Franklinton, was driving the wrong way on I-55 when he hit a car driven by 31-year-old Conrad Hebert, of Tickfaw. Craig died at the scene. Hebert was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
Another car traveling behind Hebert swerved to avoid the crash and struck the guardrail. The driver of that car, 59-year-old Newton Matthews, of St. Rose, sustained minor injuries and refused medical treatment.
"At this point, we do know that impairment is a factor in this crash in the gentleman that was going the wrong way on the interstate," said State Police spokeswoman Trooper Melissa Matey. "We don't have toxicology numbers yet. We're going to wait for those to come in and an autopsy to come back to get the results."
Matey said impairment is not suspected for Hebert or Matthews.
Hebert leaves behind a wife and four children, the youngest of which will turn 5 later this month. He had been on his way to work when he was killed.
"He kissed his wife goodbye this morning, told her, 'I love you, hun, and I'll see you later,'" said his cousin, Ryan Hebert.
Family members gathered at the Hebert home to remember Conrad and comfort each other.
"Very good father," said his sister-in-law, Amy Hebert. "Loving, hard-working. Did anything for his kids. Everything he did every day was for his kids and for his wife. Good family man, and just - we lost someone extraordinary today."
A memorial fund for Conrad Hebert's family has been established at Capital One Bank.