GPD reports I-10 and Hwy 44 Hit and Run

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief

The Gonzales Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance with any information relative to a traffic fatality which occurred on Wednesday July 11, sometime between the hours of 2:34-3:22 a.m.

Lt. Steven Nethken reported July 16 that patrol officers were dispatched to the exit ramp of I-10 E/B at its intersection of LA 44, mile marker 179, to check on a subject lying on the ground next to a truck.

Nethken said officers arrived and quickly ascertained that the driver of the chemical tanker for Dupre Logistics, was currently lying under the tanker trailer of the 18-wheeler. The driver had sustained significant injuries to his legs and upper body.

Moreover, the driver was incoherent when officers tried to question him.

"Officers were able to identify that personal effects from the driver had been removed from his body and were a strew on the pavement. Patrol Officers begin to immediately suspect a possible hit and run accident but there was no impact on the victim’s vehicle and no debris on the crash site."

It was further reported that the driver was transported to the emergency room, and it became evident that the trailer of the vehicle had sustained a “blow out” leading officers to assume that was the reason for the location of the truck in the “gore” between the I-10 main travel lanes and La 44 exit ramp.

The vehicle was parked within three feet of the white fog line on the main travel lanes of I-10 eastbound. The trucking company's GPS location for the truck shows it first arrived at this location at 2:34 a.m. Patrol Officers did not receive a call about the truck and the driver until 3:22 a.m.

"We suspect that the driver was struck by a passing vehicle on eastbound Interstate 10, sometime in the 48-minute window as recorded by the trucking company," Nethken said.

The driver of the vehicle, Ernie Guillard, a 57-year-old resident of Baton Rouge, had been working for the Dupre Logistics truck line since November, 2015. Family members referred to Ernie as a dedicated father of seven children ranging in ages from 3 to 17 years old.

Moreover, Ernie Guillard succumbed to his injuries received from this event and was pronounce dead at OLOL on July 13.

The Gonzales Police Department is asking anyone with any information which may help us reach a resolution in the case or that may have been traveling on I-10 eastbound at LA 44 during this time and seen any of the above described events to please contact Crime Stoppers or the Gonzales Police Department at 225-647-9537.