Bodies of 2 killed in East Feliciana crash to be released for burial

For the past two weeks, Lydia Blalock has been waiting for the East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office to release the remains of her father-in-law and niece after their deaths in a fiery car accident.

The Coroner’s Office now says it will do so Friday, having confirmed the identities of the badly charred bodies.

“It was a relief that led to tears on all of our parts,” Blalock said Thursday. “We have been holding it all together for two weeks now, and to know that the ordeal is almost over — a weight has been lifted.”

Blalock said the family can now prepare for a funeral set for Saturday in Liberty, Mississippi.

On July 24, William Blalock, 86, Lydia Blalock’s father-in law, was killed with his 19-year-old granddaughter, Ariel Foster, when their sedan veered into oncoming traffic on La. 67 near the Mississippi border and smashed into an 18-wheeler.

Their 2010 Kia Optima caught fire, and leaking diesel from the 18-wheeler’s storage tank fueled the flames. All forms of identification papers were incinerated, and authorities were unable to take fingerprint and teeth samples because the bodies were so badly burned. Instead it would take DNA analysis, a slow and difficult process, to confirm the victims’ identities.

“I’m glad that it’s over and that the family can continue on,” said Laura DeJohn, the acting East Feliciana Parish coroner.

Follow Daniel Bethencourt on Twitter, @_dbethencourt.