Troopers investigating fatal crash in parish, victim ID’d Friday

Published 3:40 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Shortly before 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on Louisiana Highway 436 near the intersection of Lewis Rogers Road.

At the time of the crash, investigators were working with the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office to identify the deceased driver, according to Trooper Dustin Dwight. On Friday, Dwight announced that the victim killed in the crash was Dustin A. McCain, 17, of Franklinton.

The preliminary investigation led troopers to determine that the crash occurred as a white Chevrolet truck was traveling eastbound on Highway 436, approaching a curve in the roadway. For reasons still under investigation, the white Chevrolet truck traveled into the westbound lane directly into the path of an oncoming black 2003 Chevrolet Silverado driven by 41-year-old Wade D. Smith of Franklinton. The front of the black Silverado crashed into the driver’s side door of the white Chevrolet truck. After the impact, both vehicles caught fire, Dwight said.

Several residents near the crash heard the collision and responded to assist the drivers. Brandon Holubar, Byron Graham and Shane Thomas were three of the first on-scene, Dwight said. Graham had been traveling on Highway 436 when he came upon the crash scene. Both vehicles were on fire when the three arrived. According to witnesses, the white Chevrolet truck was fully engulfed in flames and the black Silverado had flames in the engine compartment.

Dwight said that, despite the fire, the three men entered the cab of the black Silverado to assist the trapped driver. Even though Smith, the driver of the Silverado, was wearing his seat belt, he had sustained severe injuries in the crash. The three men were able to remove Smith from his truck before it also became fully engulfed in flames, Dwight said.

After firefighters with the Washington Parish Fire Department extinguished the flames, investigators discovered the remains of the driver inside the white Chevrolet truck. Troopers worked with the Washington and St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to identify the driver and notify the next of kin.

Smith was transported to North Oaks Health Systems with moderate injuries. Blood samples were collected from both drivers. The samples will be sent to the crime lab for analysis. The crash investigation is ongoing.