A truck driver is accused of halting traffic Friday night on Interstate 10 across the Atchafalaya Basin after driving the wrong way onto the interstate while intoxicated, a State Police spokesman said Saturday.
Marshal Smith, 62, of Gaffney, S.C., drove his 18-wheeler west in the eastbound lanes after entering the interstate near Ramah, around mile marker 135, in Iberville Parish, Trooper Evan Harrell said in a news release.
Troopers were notified around 10:30 p.m. of a hit-and-run crash on I-10 involving Smith’s 18-wheeler, Harrell said.
Smith’s 18-wheeler traveled from the Baton Rouge area into the Lafayette area and got involved in two more hit-and-run crashes around mile markers 133 and 126, Harrell said.
The second crash caused minor injuries, but the first and third caused none, Harrell said.
Area law enforcement agencies were notified of the wrong-way 18-wheeler in time to close entrance ramps to I-10 East until danger had passed, Harrell said.
Troopers from State Police Troops A in Baton Rouge and I in Lafayette and St. Martin Parish sheriff’s deputies pursued Smith and tried to catch his attention by driving their patrol cars with blaring sirens and flashing lights next to his truck, Harrell said.
Authorities eventually stopped Smith by deploying spike strips around mile marker 110, north of Breaux Bridge, Harrell said.
No serious injuries occurred while Smith drove the wrong way on the interstate, Harrell said.
Smith was booked into Iberville Parish Prison on one count each of DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle, felony aggravated flight from an officer, and three counts of hit-and-run.
Authorities took a sample of Smith’s blood and have submitted it to the State Police Crime Laboratory for analysis, Harrell said.