NatCom 911 Center received multiple calls around 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13 reporting an 18 wheeler/private vehicle crash on I-49 (southbound) near milepost #153 north of the Powhatan exit.
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, La. State Police, two Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Units, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #7, NPSO Rescue, Natchitoches Fire Department Rescue and La. Department of Transportation and Development responded. Deputies say upon their arrival private citizens were assisting the operator of the 18 wheeler as he attempted to crawl out of the cab of the extensively damaged truck.
According to LSP, a 2014 Ford Eclipse operated by Peter Wetzel, 69, of Keatchie was traveling southbound on I-49. At the same time, a Freightliner pulling a trailer containing several thousand pounds of meat products operated by Richard K. Thrower, 47, of Ada, Okla., was also traveling southbound behind the Ford Eclipse. For reasons still under investigation, the Freightliner apparently impacted the rear of the Ford causing the Freightliner to leave the road on the right side and travel down an incline/ditch causing the truck to overturn.
Wetzel and his passenger, Betty Sue Wetzel, 69, of Keatchie, as well as Thrower were all transported by EMS to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center with what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries. All three were wearing seat belts. The crash is being investigated by Troopers assigned to LSP Troop E.