Driver in fatal crash was distracted by phone, Louisiana State Police suspect

Staff Report

Louisiana State Police arrested a man they allege was distracted by a cell phone when he traveled off a roadway, struck a vehicle on the shoulder, and initiated a series of collisions on Interstate 10 in Metairie on Feb. 27.

Troopers said in a news release the crash claimed the life of 49-year-old Chad James of Thibodaux.

Based on the findings of their investigation, troopers obtained an arrest warrant for 60-year-old Manuel Llorens. He was charged with negligent homicide, vehicular negligent injuring, use of telecommunications devices prohibited while driving, and other traffic related counts.

Louisiana State Police

Llorens was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correction Center.

The three-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 west was near Clearview Parkway shortly after midnight.

"Inattentive and distracted driving continues to be leading causes of crashes in our state," a spokesperson said in the news release. "Troopers urge motorists to avoid all distractions while driving, inside and outside the vehicle. Keep your eyes on the road, avoid cell phone use and multi-tasking while driving. You can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by ensuring that while behind the wheel of a vehicle you remain focused solely on the task of driving. Information on distracted driving may be found online by visiting www.Distraction.gov."