Family seek answers after fatal EBR crash

A week after Ethel Phillips was killed in a car accident on Interstate 12, her family is still seeking answers while police search for the dump truck driver believed responsible for causing the accident.

Phillips, 74, was on the way to see her oncologist at a clinic near Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center on July 2 when the Toyota Camry she was riding in was struck by a dump truck about 12:47 p.m. on I-12, near Airline Highway.

Phillips’ daughter, who family members said was driving, lost control of the car after being struck and was then pinned against the median by an 18-wheeler. Phillips died from injuries in the accident later that night at Our Lady of the Lake.

The driver of the dump truck did not stop and police have not found the truck or the driver.

Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said traffic homicide officers are still gathering evidence as they attempt to identify the dump truck and driver.

Melinda Cashio, Phillips’ granddaughter, said family members are still grieving but are seeking any information that could help police in their efforts.

She said her grandmother was an accountant for the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement for about 30 years. She described her grandmother as encouraging and the most independent person she ever knew.

“She was a very true and honest person,” Cashio said.

Phillips was fighting late-stage lung cancer, Cashio said, and her family was coming to grips with her grandmother’s battle against the disease when the accident happened.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who may have any information about it is urged to contact police at (225) 389-7819.