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METAIRIE – An early morning fatal crash on the Causeway Bridge that shut down traffic for hours was caused by a drunk driver who now faces her third DWI arrest.
The accident occurred around 2:30 a.m. on the southbound bridge when a white Honda crashed into the back of a red pickup truck, according to general manager Carlton Dufrechou.
The accident destroyed about 100 feet of railing along the Southbound span, some of which penetrated the windshield of the red pickup truck.
Twenty-six-year-old Olivia Matte, who was driving the Honda, initially refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, but eventually consented to taking the test, which she failed.
Her exact blood alcohol content has not been released.
She also failed a field sobriety test administered at the site of the accident.
Matte has been charged with her third DWI offense. She also faces charges of vehicular homicide, driving with a suspended license, losing control of her vehicle, and negligent injury.
Two Mississippi men, James Blackmond and Kelly Johnson, were in the pickup truck at the time of the accident.
Blackmond, the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Johnson was taken to East Jefferson General Hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries.
Both men were headed into the New Orleans area for work, Dufrechou said.
Although no vehicles went into the water, the Coast Guard did respond to the site of the accident to scan the lake bed with sonar, Dufrechou said.