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LSP: Heavy fog to blame for deadly 20 car pile-up

Photo provided by staff

POSTED: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 5:12pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 9:57am

In just a matter of minutes a domino-effect crash shut down LA 1 and left one driver dead early Tuesday morning.

"Our troopers and investigators are out here trying to determine exactly what happened to cause this chain of events. There were three different crashes so there were a lot of different vehicles, about 20 vehicles involved. We're just trying to put it all together," explained Trooper Jared Sandifer with the Louisiana State Police.

The deadly pile-up started as a chain reaction of accidents that left 62 year old Donald L. Jenkins dead and put several others in the hospital.

"Kind of like domino effect, you have one crash that's up front and once that crash is stopped you have another crash behind it, and then just another crash behind it, so just a chain reaction," explained Sandifer of the wreck.

The one issue in common for all of the drivers though was the extreme fog.

"You know I drove here around 7:00 this morning and it was still extremely foggy. I’ve heard from some people on scene, a couple of troopers who got here early that it was almost like white out conditions. Very, very hard to see," shared Sandifer.

The drivers we spoke to were shaken up and didn't want to go on camera, but agreed the biggest issue was battling to see through the early morning fog. That's why state police are hoping people will take some lessons away from this tragedy.

"When it's very hard to see, you need to slow down, leave a little early, give yourself extra time to get to where you're going. Slow down your speed, give yourself a lot of room behind the car in front of you. But if you don't have to be driving in those conditions, don't, just stay home," advised Sandifer.

Morning fog is expected to be an issue for the next few days and troopers are advising everyone to drive safely and slowly.

59 year old Lynn Landry was the only one cited in the crash for driving too fast for roadway conditions. Landry was involved in the third of the three crashes where there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

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