A Luling man was driving a St. Charles Parish Hospital ambulance Monday on an emergency call when the vehicle apparently drifted onto the left lane of Airline Highway and triggered a multi-vehicle accident involving a fatality.
Shortly before 5 p.m., Brian Baio, 66, of Luling was driving a 2015 Chevrolet G4500 ambulance south on the highway (Highway 61) on an emergency call when the vehicle entered the left lane approaching the intersection with LA 626, according Louisiana State Police.
The ambulance struck the right rear bumper of a 2012 Cadillac CTS driven by Earl Nevills Jr. of LaPlace, pushing it onto the northbound lanes of Airline Highway.
Nevills’ vehicle was struck by a 2008 Rav4 traveling north in the left lane driven by Marva Jackson, also of LaPlace.
Jackson’s vehicle ran off the roadway to the right and caught fire. She was not wearing a seat belt and was transported to University Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead, according to State Police.
Baio and his passenger, Angela Champagne, 61, also of Luling, in the ambulance were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Both were wearing seat belts.
Nevills and his 2-year-old juvenile passenger also were taken to a local hospital with moderate injuries. Nevills was wearing a seat belt and the child was in a child safety seat, but State Police believe the child seat was improperly installed.
A passenger in Nevills’ vehicle, Murphy Jackson III, 40, also of LaPlace, was taken to a local hospital with moderate injuries. Jackson was not wearing a seat belt.
According to State Police, speed is a suspected factor in the crash on the part of the ambulance.
The crash remains under investigation and criminal charges are pending.