UPDATE: Drivers identified, one arrested for fatal accident on Whiskey Bay Bridge

UPDATE: Drivers identified, one arrested for fatal accident on Whiskey Bay Bridge

POSTED: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 7:19pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 2:01pm

THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: State Police have identified the individuals involved in the crash that happened last night on the Whiskey Bay Bridge.

James Bennet, 61, of Jacksonville, La; Emily Emanuel, 18, of Longville, La; Susan Auburn, 61, of Youngsville, La; John Listi, 36, of Abbeville, La; Edward Moore, 44, of New Port Richey, FL; Phillip Rizzo, 63, of Lincoln County, OR.

Troopers say Rizzo was driving a motorcycle and sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead on the scene by the Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office.

Bennet was charged with Reckless Operation and Negligent Homicide and booked into the Iberville Parish Jail last night.

None of the other drivers were injured.

UPDATE (LOUISIANA STATE POLICE): Louisiana State Police Troop A is currently investigating a multiple-vehicle fatal crash on Interstate 10 westbound near the Whiskey Bay Bridge in Iberville Parish. The crash involved several vehicles, including a motorcycle and two 18-wheelers, and occurred shortly after 5:00 pm. The crash occurred due to traffic congestion caused by a dog that had gotten loose on the Interstate west of the Whiskey Bay Bridge.

Troop I Troopers were called to assist animal control with a stray dog in the westbound lanes, west of the Whiskey Bay Bridge. Upon arrival, Troopers made contact with Animal Control Specialists and attempted to get the animal removed from the roadway. Troopers blocked traffic in an effort to allow the animal control officers to safety recover the dog.

Troopers’ crash investigation revealed that several miles east of the incident, an 18-wheeler traveling west failed to stop for traffic, swerved into the center of the roadway (straddling both westbound lanes) and struck the rear of a motorcycle and three other vehicles. The Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office pronounced the driver of the motorcycle deceased on the scene. No one else was injured in the crash. Troopers have charged the driver of the 18-wheeler who caused the crash with reckless operation and negligent homicide. He will be booked into the Iberville Parish Prison.

Westbound lanes were blocked due to the crash for nearly three hours. Troopers, with the assistance of Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, rerouted westbound traffic onto US 190 via LA 415 until they were able to clear the scene and reopen the roadway. All lanes were cleared and the roadway was opened at 8:30 pm.

Troopers do not suspect impairment to have been a factor in this crash. All the drivers involved voluntarily submitted breath samples to Troopers that showed they had no detectable alcohol in their systems. Toxicology results on the deceased driver are pending an autopsy. Names of all involved in the crash will be released in an update.



IBERVILLE PARISH ( NBC33) - A multi-vehicle accident on the Whiskey Bay Bridge shut down Instate-10 and claimed the life of one of the drivers.

The accident happened shortly before 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, Thursday, March 1.

Acadian Ambulance and the Louisiana State Police are working the scene. State Police has confirmed that one person died as a result of the accident, but have not released the identity of that person.

The Interstate is still shut down at this time. No word has been given on when it’s anticipated to reopen.

Traffic is being diverted off I-10 West at LA-3000 (Ramah) and at LA-415 (Lobdell) to US-190 West. 

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