HAMMOND, La. (WGNO) — Louisiana State Police are investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 12 in Hammond that left traffic backed up for nine miles near Pumpkin Center Road.

LSP officials said the crash happened around 7:30 a.m. at mile marker 36.

They said an initial investigation led troopers to determine that two crashes happened in the same general location on Interstate 12 eastbound.

LSP officials said the first crash happened as a Ford Escape was driving eastbound on Interstate 12 when it traveled off the road and hit several trees.

They said the driver, identified by LSP as 34-year-old Javier Morel, and two juvenile passengers were ejected from the Ford.

The two juveniles suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to a hospital for treatment.

Troopers said after the first crash, before emergency personnel arrived at the scene, Morel walked away from the original crash and into the right lane of Interstate 12 while a Kenworth T880 was driving east.

LSP officials said the Kenworth then struck Morel.

Morel suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troopers said the driver of the Kenworth was wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured.

The investigation is ongoing, and routine toxicology samples were collected from both drivers.

All lanes have since been reopened.

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