Metairie, La — An “improper lane change” – on one of the busiest stretches of I-10 – led to a fatal crash and caused a huge back-up during Thursday’s rush hour traffic.
State Police say the accident happened just after 4 o’clock, on I-10 West, at the Bonnabel Boulevard exit.
According to State Trooper Melissa Matey, the crash involved two vehicles and a motorcycle.
Matey says a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Steven Torres of Prairieville, LA, changed lanes, moving from the right lane into the right center lane, striking a 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle, driven by 64-year old Steven Henthorn of Metairie.
The impact pushed Henthorn into the left center lane and he was thrown off his motorcycle. Although Henthorn was wearing a “DOT-approved helmet” he died at the scene.
The motorcycle continued to roll down the interstate, striking a 2005 Kenworth tractor, driven by 27-year old Hakim Raby of Westwego, LA.
Traffic slowed to a crawl, but no one else was injured.
The State Police “preliminary investigation” blames Torres for causing the crash. Investigators say Torres submitted to a blood test, and a toxicology test will be conducted by the State Police Crime Lab.
According to Trooper Matey, “the crash remains under investigation and criminal charges are pending.”
Matey also has a reminder for drivers:
” When changing lanes, please make the extra effort to ensure there is not a vehicle alongside of you by checking your mirrors and turning to look. Avoid all distractions while driving, it could be the difference between life and death.”