UPDATE: 6/23/22: While Louisiana State Police originally reported Chloe Hamilton as a Prairieville resident, KLFY has since learned she was actually a resident of Lafayette.

ORIGINAL STORY, 6/19/22: BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD, KLFY) — A single vehicle crash Sunday on LA 427 near Bayou Manchac in Ascension Parish claimed the lives of 16-year-old Caroline Smith and 16-year-old Chloe Hamilton, both from Prairieville. 

According to State Police, an initial investigation revealed that Smith was driving a Chevrolet Impala on LA 427 when for reasons still being investigated, she failed to negotiate a right curve, exited the roadway to the right, entered through a gravel shoulder, and struck a tree. 

After impact, police said, the vehicle vaulted into a private pond and became fully submerged.     

Photo by Jaci Jones.
Photo courtesy of LSP.

The St. George Fire Department (SGFD) says that the original call involved a car stuck in a ditch, but was changed to a car in a pond with people trapped.

After arriving at the scene, Engine 683 and Medic Unit 687 found the pond with evidence of a vehicle having gone underwater.

Both units had firefighters put on life vests to begin searching underwater. After a primary sweep of the immediate area, the firefighters determined that the water was too deep for a simple search. SGFD changed into gear to assist them in diving deeper. 

SGFD and the Prairieville fire departments went into the water to search for the vehicle but determined that assistance from other agencies would be necessary.

The St. George Fire Department says that the Prairieville Fire Department, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, EBRSO, Eastside Fire Department Dive Team, EBRSO Dive Team, East Baton Rouge EMS, Acadian Ambulance, and the Louisiana State Police all responded to the scene.

This is a developing story.