State Police investigate fatal wreck on I-10 near LaPlace

Two people were killed Monday morning in a fiery crash on Interstate 10 in St. Charles Parish near LaPlace in which impairment is considered a factor, State Police said.

Nechole Thomas, 26, of Houston, was driving a 2002 Mercedes C230 at a high rate of speed on the right shoulder of I-10 west when she struck a 2012 Nissan Altima stopped on the shoulder, Trooper 1st Class Melissa Matey said in a news release.

Both vehicles caught on fire and burned as a result of the crash, Matey said.

After the fire was put out, two occupants discovered inside the Altima were pronounced dead on the scene, Matey said.

Thomas escaped from the Mercedes with minor injuries, Matey said. Troopers believe Thomas was impaired at the time of the crash, and toxicology tests are pending at the State Police Crime Lab, Matey said.

Thomas was arrested and booked into the St. Charles Parish Correctional Center on two counts of vehicular homicide, one count of driving while intoxicated and one count of reckless operation of a vehicle, Matey said.

The identities of the driver and passenger in the Altima had not been made public as of late Tuesday, Matey said. Autopsy results were pending.

The wreck caused major traffic delays for travelers leaving New Orleans, the site of Sunday night’s Super Bowl, heading northwest toward Baton Rouge, Matey said.