Two die in crash after vehicles catch fire, impairment suspected
ST. CHARLES PARISH, LA — On Monday, Feb. 4 shortly after 5:30 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop B responded to a fatal crash on I-10 in St. Charles Parish that claimed the lives of two individuals.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2012 Nissan Altima was stopped on the shoulder of I-10 west at mile post 214.6 for unknown reasons. A 2002 Mercedes C230, driven by Nechole Thomas, 26, of Houston, TX, was traveling at a high rate of speed on I-10 west on the right shoulder approaching mile post 214. The Mercedes struck the rear of the Altima and both vehicles caught on fire.
After the fire was extinguished, two occupants were discovered in the Altima and pronounced dead on the scene. Thomas was able to escape from the Mercedes and received only minor injuries.
Impairment is suspected for Thomas and toxicology tests are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Thomas was arrested and charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide, DWI and Reckless Operation. She was booked into the St. Charles Parish Correctional Center.
The identities of the driver and passenger of the Altima have not yet been determined due to the extent of injuries and autopsies are pending.