NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans man died after the car he was driving slammed into the back of an 18-wheeler then crossed into the opposite lane of traffic where it was hit by an SUV, police said.
Jude T. Keelen was 46 years old, and police said they're still working to find out why the car he was driving crashed, not suspecting alcohol or drugs at this time.
After the accident, Keelen was taken to a hospital for his injuries, but his injuries were too severe. He died there.
Keelen's car was heading south on Louisiana Highway 25, heading toward U.S. Highway 190. That's when and where it hit an 18-wheeler that was stopped and waiting to turn into a private driveway.
After hitting the back of the Peterbilt 18-wheeler, Keelen's car crossed into oncoming traffic. A Chevrolet Tahoe hit Keelen's car in the driver's side, leaving all three cars in the road.
The 18-wheeler's driver wasn't hurt in the crash, but the Tahoe's driver was taken to a hospital fo his injuries — unlike Keelen, both were wearing a seatbelt.
As Louisiana State Police troopers continue looking into the details of the crash, the investigation remains open.
"This is the fifth fatal crash Troop L has investigated since the beginning of 2021 and the fourth fatality that can be attributed to lack of restraint use," an LSP release said. "Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists to always make good decisions while in a motor vehicle."
Police said people should never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, and they should always ensure every occupant is properly restrained —and follow all traffic laws.
"While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death." the release said.