Interstate accident leaves two dead

Staff reports

On Tuesday afternoon at approximately 4:15 p.m., officers received notifications from a witnessing motorist on I-10 of a 2010 Chrysler Sebring traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-10, east of the Hwy. 44 mile marker 179.

Officers responded to the area in an attempt to intercept the vehicle, and to eliminate the threat which this situation had posed.

While Officers were responding they learned that a head on collision of this vehicle had occurred with another vehicle at Mile Marker 178 which is just east of the top of the Hwy 30 overpass on I-10E.

Officers arrived on scene and witnessed the chaos which was actually a three vehicle accident in the inside lanes of I-10 E.

Officers shutdown the interstate to preserve the safety of other motorists in the area and diverted traffic onto Hwy. 30. Officers also found that the initial two vehicles were single occupant vehicles and both drivers had died as a result of injuries received from the frontal collision between the 2010 Chrysler Sebring and a 2007 Scion. The third vehicle which was a 2007 Ford F-150 4 door pickup involved in the accident struck the rear of the 2007 Scion in the inside lane of  I-10E, which caused only minor injuries to its single occupant driver.

It was learned through the investigation that the driver of the 2010 Chrysler Sebring had just flown in to New Orleans from Oregon and rented the Sebring and was driving to Baton Rouge to visit family whom were awaiting her arrival.

The driver of the 2007 Scion was a contract worker for Paretti Jaguar and was delivering this vehicle for Paretti to a dealership in New Orleans.

The interstate was reopened approximately 3 hours after the conclusion of the on scene investigation and Officers are still currently working to establish an answer to the reason why the driver of the 2010 Chrysler Sebring was traveling in the wrong direction on the interstate for such a distance.

Autopsies and toxicology reports are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office.

Nothing was discovered on the scene which would immediately indicated to investigators as a direct reason why such actions had been taken by the driver of the Chrysler Sebring prior to the accident occurring. It was evident that the driver of the 2010 Chrysler Sebring was not wearing her seatbelt prior to the collision. All other parties were proper restrained in their vehicles.

The Gonzales Police Department is now able to release the names of the drivers of the vehicles:

The driver of the 2010 Chrysler Sebring is Brenda A. Quiett of Portland, Oregon, aged 59.      

The driver of the 2007 Scion is Peggy P. Fortenberry of Gonzales, La, aged 69.

The driver of the 2007 Ford F-150 is Paulene B. Langlois of St. Amant, La., aged 49.

Both Quiett and Fortenberry were pronounced dead at the scene.