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Troopers: Wrong way driver causes multiple-vehicle crash on I-10


CALCASIEU PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Louisiana State Police officials say one person is dead following a Wednesday evening four-vehicle crash on I-10 about 4 miles west of Vinton in Calcasieu Parish.

They say the crash was caused by a driver going the wrong way on I-10.

83-year-old Gabriel Prejean of Vinton has been identified as the victim of that crash.

Investigators say 76-year-old Mario De La Cruz of Texas was traveling the wrong way on I-10 prior to the crash. For reasons still under investigation, they say, De La Cruz hit a vehicle driven by 52-year-old Timothy Mullins of Gonzales while traveling east in the westbound lanes of travel.

After the initial impact, troopers say, the vehicle driven by De La Cruz hit Prejean’s vehicle head-on. The impact caused Prejean’s truck to hit another vehicle driven by 61-year-old Harold Zimmerman of Texas. 

Despite being properly restrained, officials say, Prejean sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

De La Cruz, who was properly restrained, sustained minor injuries and was transported to a Lake Charles area hospital for treatment.

Both Mullins and Zimmerman were property restrained and were not injured.

Officials say toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis. Charges are pending and the crash remains under investigation. 

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