Two die as result of La. 1 accident near Dow Sunday evening

DEIDRE CRUSE

A 26-year-old White Castle woman was killed in a one-car wreck around 8 p.m. Sunday on La. 1 near Dow Chemical, a State Police Troop A spokesman said. A 26-year old man who accompanied her in the vehicle died as a result of injuries at midday Tuesday.

“Rubbenecking” motorists caused three additional accidents, totaling five cars, as Iberville and West Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies helped work the wreck, Maj. Johnny Blanchard of the Iberville Sheriff’s Office said.

Rachel A. Richard, 26, sustained fatal injuries in the crash and died at the scene, according to State Police Sgt. Markus L. Smith. Acadian Air-Med transported her passenger, Blake M. Benoit, 26, also of White Castle, to Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center for treatment of severe injuries, he said. Benoit passed away Tuesday at OLOL as the result of injuries he suffered.

Richard was driving north in the left lane of La. 1 when, for unknown reasons, she swerved to the right and lost control of her 2004 Honda Accord, Smith said.

The car ran off the right side of the roadway, overturned onto its roof and slid until it struck a tree. He said the impact caused the car to rotate counter-clockwise; both Richard and Benoit were ejected.

Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the crash, the trooper said. The State Police submitted blood samples from Richard to the crime lab for analysis. The results are pending.

Major Blanchard said that despite patrol car lights and other measures, motorists caused three additional wrecks at the scene. In one, a vehicle wrecked two other vehicles, including a West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s unit.

“It was a dangerous situation,” he said.