State Police: 4 killed in 10-vehicle crash that shut down I-12 for hours

COVINGTON, La. -- Four people died and several others were injured after an 18-wheeler jackknifed and caused a 10-vehicle crash on I-12 East.

According to Louisiana State Police, at about 4 p.m. Saturday (May 26), an 18-wheeler hauling avocados approached traffic congestion on I-12 East at La. 21. The 18-wheeler was unable to stop and caused a chain reaction crash with nine other vehicles. The 18-wheeler jackknifed during the crash and caught fire, as did three other vehicles.

The driver of the 18-wheeler died at the scene and has not yet been identified. Yoland Simmons and Keland Simmons of Baton Rouge also died at the scene. Rachel Lehmann of Mandeville died later at a local hospital.

Several others were taken to local hospital with minor and moderate injuries, including a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputy.

The crash closed I-12 East from 4 p.m. Saturday - 2 a.m. Sunday.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.