2theadvocate.com | News | I-10 crash victims identified — Baton Rouge, LA
I-10 Crash Victims Identified
One child attended academy in Iberville
* By KATIE KENNEDY
* Advocate staff writer
* Published: Nov 30, 2009
Louisiana State Police on Sunday identified the victims of Saturday’s deadly Interstate 10 accident near Prairieville and said a tire blowout on the overloaded van they were riding in led to the tragedy.
The incident claimed the lives of four children and one adult, and left 10 other people critically injured, State Police spokesman Trooper Russell Graham said.
Most of the van’s occupants were related, though Graham could not say how, and all the passengers were from Harvey in Jefferson Parish.
The driver, Mona Hines, 38, was one of only two occupants wearing a seat belt, Graham said. She was partially ejected and pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office, he said.
Four children, Ricky Hines Jr., 2, Lachante Floyd, 12, Edward Barnes, 14, and Ashley Hines, 14, also died before paramedics could reach them, Graham said.
The Iberville Parish school system, in a news release Sunday, said Lachante Floyd was a sixth-grade student at the parish’s Math, Science and Arts Academy in Plaquemine.
“The faculty, staff, and students extend their sincere condolences to the friends and family of Lachante ‘Mia’ Floyd. She was a 3.0 student. She will be deeply missed by many,” Iberville Parish School Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne said in the release.
Graham did not have an update on the status of the injured children Sunday night, but seven were listed in critical condition Sunday morning. The two remaining children suffered moderate injuries and were considered stable, he said.
The ages of the surviving children range from 6 months to 14 years old, but Graham did not release their names.
Mona Hines’ sister, Stacey Hines, 28, was the only other passenger wearing a seatbelt. She was listed in stable condition at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Graham said.
Attempts by The Advocate and The Associated Press to reach family members on Sunday were unsuccessful.
There were 15 passengers in the 2000 GMC Safari van, which is designed to accommodate eight. All 13 children were unrestrained. They were fully ejected from the van.
Graham said he could not comment on why there were so many people packed into the van or what their destination was, saying those details were beyond the scope of his office’s investigation.
But Graham did say the multitude of occupants could have contributed to the crash on I-10 east of La. 928.
Graham confirmed the cause of the accident to be a blowout of the front left tire followed by overcorrection by the driver.
Graham said overloaded vehicles are difficult to operate and it would have been harder for the driver to maintain control after the blowout.
He said it was possible the extra weight could have put added strain on the tires.
The van was in the westbound lanes on I-10 between the Prairieville and Highland Road exits when the blowout occurred just before noon.
It side-swiped a refrigerated truck before entering the median and flipping multiple times, coming to rest upright in the eastbound lanes.
Officials were still investigating how fast the van was traveling at the time of the blowout.
The driver of the refrigerated truck was not injured.
Alcohol is not suspected in the accident, authorities said.
Advocate staff writer Koran Addo contributed to this report.