Shortly after 1:00 pm today, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a three vehicle fatality crash that occurred on Interstate 49 northbound, south of the Bunkie exit in Evangeline Parish. The crash took the life of 22 year old Austin Jones and 24 year old Destinee Jones of Covington.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed three vehicles were traveling north on Interstate 49. The first, a 2013 Chrysler 200, operated by 49 year old Curtis Williams of New Orleans, a 2010 International Wrecker truck operated by 24 year old Harold Dauzat of Ville Platte and a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado operated by 22 year old Austin Jones of Covington. While traveling on Interstate 49, the Chrysler 200 was struck by lightning and became disabled in the roadway. The wrecker truck was following behind the Chrysler, but was able to stop before striking the Chrysler. The Chevrolet Silverado, operated by Jones was unable to stop and struck the wrecker truck from behind. That initial impact caused the wrecker truck to move forward and strike the Chrysler 200.
Austin Jones was wearing a seat belt, but suffered fatal injuries, Jones was pronounced dead on scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office. Destinee Jones a passenger, was also wearing a seat belt and suffered critical injuries. She was transported to Opelousas General Hospital where she later died of her injuries. A twelve month old child was properly restrained in a child safety seat and suffered minor injuries.
Harold Dauzat, the driver of the wrecker truck was not injured as a result of the crash.
Curtis Williams and his three passengers were all wearing seat belts and suffered minor injuries. Williams and his passengers were transported to Bunkie General Hospital.
Impairment is not believed to be a factor, however; toxicology samples were taken from Jones and Williams and were submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Dauzat submitted a proper breath sample and was not impaired.
This crash remains under investigation.
Troop I has investigated 31 fatal crashes resulting in 33 fatalities so far in 2015