Louisiana: State Police suspect Charles Branch was killed due to DUI driver; waiting on blood test of Andre Collins

31 Year Old Man Struck and Killed in the Median of I-10 in St. James Parish Crash
Gramercy – LA.  — According to Sgt. Jared L. Sandifer of the Louisiana State Police, shortly before 5:00 am on April 26, 2015, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a four vehicle fatality crash that occurred on I-10 east of LA Hwy 641 in St. James Parish. The crash took the life of 31 year old Charles A. Branch Jr. of Jonesville, LA.

The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as 26 year old Andre Collins of Baton Rouge was driving a 2013 Chrysler 200 westbound on I-10. At the same time, 23 year old Jamie Resendiz of Richland, MS was also driving westbound on I-10 in a 2004 Ford Excursion. For reasons still under investigation the Chrysler driven by Collins ran into the rear of the Excursion. As a result the Chrysler became disabled facing east in the westbound lanes of I-10. Collins and his passenger, Branch, got out of the disabled Chrysler and entered the median.

As Collins and Branch entered the median, 23 year old Adam Fabre of Laplace was driving westbound in the left hand lane of I-10 in a 2009 Dodge pickup. Fabre noticed the disable Chrysler and swerved left into the median in an attempt to avoid it. Upon doing so the Dodge struck Branch as he was standing in the median. After striking Branch, the Dodge crossed back onto I-10 before coming to rest on the north shoulder. After Branch was struck by the Dodge, 20 year old Lester Ross, Jr. of Baton Rouge was traveling westbound on I-10 in a 2012 Ford Focus. The Focus struck the disabled Chrysler head-on.

Branch suffered fatal injuries as a result of being struck by the Dodge. Impairment on the part of Collins is a possible factor, and a toxicology sample was taken from him and submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Collins was properly restrained at the time of the initial crash, and he was transported from the scene to St. James Parish Hospital in Lutcher with minor injuries. All other drivers involved were properly restrained and were uninjured. This crash remains under investigation, and charges may be pending.

Troopers urge the public to remain vigilant while driving at all times. Never drive a motor vehicle when impaired or fatigued, and always remain buckled up regardless of seating position. Avoid distracting activities, especially the temptations of electronic devices that can substantially divert a driver’s attention away from the road. Always obey all traffic control devices and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

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