A vehicle drove off the service road in Jennings and onto Interstate 10 hitting an 18-wheeler traveling westbound.
Louisiana State Police Troop D Sgt. Jonathan Odom said the driver in the pickup truck failed to negotiate a curb for unknown reasons.
"Crossed through the ditch and struck an 18-wheeler," Odom said. "We don't know why. He might have been leaning over picking up his cell phone or texting."
The driver received serious injuries and was transported to Lafayette. The driver of the 18-wheeler had no injuries.
The driver, 30-year-old Eddie Miller of Eunice, La. failed to negotiate a 90-degree turn in the road. He crossed into the westbound portion of the I-10 and was struck by the 18-wheeler.
State Police say Miller fell asleep prior to the crash. Miller was charged with careless operation.
The following is a press release from Louisiana State Police Troop D:
News Release – Troop D
May 1, 2012
Serious injury crash on I-10 near Jennings
On May 1, 2012, at 1:42 PM, troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a two vehicle crash on Interstate Highway 10 near Jennings in Jefferson Davis Parish that sent a Eunice man to the hospital with serious injuries.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2011 Chevrolet pick-up truck driven by 30-year-old Eddie P. Miller of Eunice, LA was traveling on south on the north service road when Miller failed to negotiate a 90-degree turn in the road. The pick-up truck then traveled through a ditch and entered the westbound portion of I-10, where it was struck by a westbound 18-wheeler driven by 49-year-old Chester Sullivan, Jr. of Elizabethtown, TN.
Miller received serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to a Lafayette hospital. The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured.
The 18-wheeler was transporting acetic acid at the time of the crash. State Police Emergency Services troopers responded as a precaution and the product was safely transferred to another trailer. I-10 was completely reopened at 7:00 PM.
It is believed Miller fell asleep prior to the crash. Routine toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Miller was charged with careless operation and the crash remains under investigation.
Troopers would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists that sleep deprivation can impair one's ability to drive. Some studies have shown that cognitive impairment caused by sleep deprivation can affect driving as much as alcohol impairment. Drivers are encouraged to be well rested before getting behind the wheel and to take breaks whenever necessary.