Few details released in death of boy on I-10

Metairie — An investigation continues into the death of a 13-year-old River Parishes boy who was killed on Interstate 10 after escaping state custody, but state officials are releasing few details on the incident.

Jeremiah Williams, of LaPlace, died after being hit by a tow truck while running across the interstate near Cleary Avenue and Causeway Boulevard, according to Louisiana State Police Trooper Melissa Matey. Williams apparently jumped out of van driven by Janine Sylve after she pulled to the side of the road, and he was struck while trying to cross the interstate for the second time.

Matey said Sylve, 52, was taking Williams to Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville for treatment. The vehicle she was driving is registered to the hospital. A spokeswoman with the state Department of Health and Hospitals declined to discuss why Williams was being taken to the mental hospital, citing patient privacy laws. The state also would not comment on how the boy was able to escape from custody or what procedures are in place for transporting patients.

Matey reported that Williams left the van after an altercation inside the vehicle. Sylve called paramedics for assistance, but Williams was able to flee the vehicle before they arrived.

Paramedics rushed Williams to Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans, where doctors pronounced him dead. An autopsy had not yet been conducted by the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office. Attempts to locate the boy’s family in LaPlace were unsuccessful Wednesday.