Motorists pull injured driver from burning wreckage on I-49

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A 28-year-old Rapides Parish man suffered serious injuries and burns to over 50 percent of his body in a single-vehicle crash off Interstate-49 at Derry This Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS, NPSO Rescue, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #1, Natchitoches Parish Fire District 5, Natchitoches City Fire, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #6, Louisiana State Police Motor Carrier Safety, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and Air EVAC Lifeteam helicopter responded to 911 reports of a single-vehicle crash involving a large truck on fire with injuries at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 9.

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Deputies learned the vehicle had left the interstate, went airborne and landed on La. Hwy 119 fully engulfed in flames.

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According to Louisiana State Police, a 2019 Freightliner (Volt Electric) boom truck, operated by a 28-year-old Forest Hill man was traveling northbound on I-49 near the Derry overpass when, for reasons still under investigation, left the roadway on the right side, struck a metal guard rail, then concrete rail, before going airborne and landing several feet down on the paved portion of La. Hwy 119. The truck travelled through metal guardrails before coming to a rest on its ride side and catching on fire.

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Motorists that witnessed the crash, identified as Dan Cook of Alexandria, RN, Brandon Melancon of Church Point, Steve Pierce of Cloutierville and others pulled the semi-conscious driver from the burning wreckage.

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The driver suffered from serious injuries and burns to his body. He was treated by Natchitoches EMS and airlifted to LSU Medical Center Burn Center in Shreveport.

The driver was wearing a seat belt.

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Residents in the area reported the crash shook their homes and smoke could be seen for miles from the fire.

The fire was extinguished by responding fire units.

At 12:20 p.m., towing services, Volt electric crews and La. DOTD remained on the scene clearing debris and wreckage.

La. Hwy 119 (both lanes) under the I-49 Derry Overpass is closed.

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The NPSO applauds the motorists who stopped to assist and aid their fellow man. Each stated they couldn’t watch him burn to death.

The crash is still under investigation by Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop-E Alexandria.