New Photos and A Smidgeon of Good News Following Monday’s I-55 Crash in Louisiana
Manchac, LA (KPEL News) - New photos are available each day as Louisiana State Police Troop B continues the investigation into the deadly crash on Monday, October 23, on an elevated portion of I-55 between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas near Manchac. The investigation has uncovered a smidgeon of good news.
In a statement, LSP Public Affairs noted that the intense fire and extensive damage led investigators to believe more people were killed in the devastating crash. Troopers and forensic examiners have determined that the death toll is seven, rather than the eight previously reported.
Crews have made steady progress toward cleaning up the debris and determining the integrity of the roadway. I-55 southbound is open. The northbound lanes remain closed to traffic until engineers can complete their assessment of the damage and any necessary repairs are made.
State Police do credit photos and videos they received from the public that are helping with the investigation. They do ask that you submit any information to the link listed below.
ORIGINAL STORY-- OCTOBER 24, 2023
St. John the Baptist Parish, LA (KPEL News) - Louisiana State Police were notified Monday night that another person died as a result of injuries sustained in the devastating crash that morning on I-55. The number of people injured and the number of cars in the pile-up near Manchac has also risen. Here is the latest information from Louisiana State Police Troop B.
When will I-55 reopen?
Troop B and engineers still have a lot of work to do to get the stretch of elevated interstate that runs between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas open. For now, I-55 is closed from Ponchatoula to the Ruddock exit.
State Police, first responders, DOTD crews and various tow companies worked all day Monday and through most of Tuesday to clear vehicles and debris off the roadway. The next step in the process is to clean the roadway.
DOTD bridge inspectors have already identified several areas that require repair. Once the remaining debris, diesel fuel, and other chemicals are cleaned up, they will begin a more thorough structural inspection.
Meanwhile, experts are conducting bridge deck scams that will provide additional data needed for engineers to determine the integrity of the damaged concrete, the extent of the damage, and what repairs are required to make it safe for travel.
Louisiana State Police and DOTD will work closely to coordinate reopening of the interstate, but not before inspections are complete.
The latest numbers
Monday night's additional death brings the death toll to eight (8). Troopers say at least 168 vehicles were involved in the cluster of crashes, up from the original report of 158. Originally, they reported 25 people had sustained minor to critical injuries, but that number has risen as well, to 63.
What can we do?
State Police are still working to confirm that all vehicles involved in the crash are accounted for. They also want to identify anyone, driver or passengers, who may have been in those vehicles. Anyone who has a family member they have not heard from who may have been traveling along that portion of I-55 during the time of the crash should email Troop B at TroopB@la.gov.
Understandably, the crash was traumatic on the people involved. The Louisiana Department of Health has created a behavioral health resource guide that may help anyone affected by the tragic event.
Where's my car?
Drivers and owners of the vehicles involved in the crash can find out where their vehicle may have been towed by emailing TroopB@la.gov. Vehicles and personal items can be retrieved from the tow yard by showing proof of ownership to the tow company.