ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard has confirmed a fatality related to an early morning possible tornado on Bolton Road in Palmetto.

Bellard tells KLFY Jose Antonio Higareda was killed when the tornado struck the home he was living in. He was 27 years old.

Jose Antonio Higareda

In addition, he said, there were 7 people transported with injuries to local hospitals and multiple people were treated at the scene. At 10:30am, KLFY News was told 5 of those injured have been released from the hospital. 2 others are still in the hospital with injuries.

The trailer of an 18-wheeler, he said, is in the middle of the roadway, along with multiple other vehicles that were tossed around with some flipping over.

He said search and rescue crews are still out working as of daylight. “My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this storm,” said Jessie Bellard, St. Landry Parish president. “We’re doing everything we can to those families.” 

Bellard reported that SLEMCO, St. Landry Public Works, Animal Control and the Sheriff’s Department was already on scene and working on debris clearance and restoring power to the area. The Red Cross was in route to assist families. 

The National Weather Service out of Lake Charles has told KLFY News it was an EF3 tornado that hit the area. They said the wind speeds were between 130 and 140 mph.

KLFY has a crew on the scene who will provide updates throughout the day.