Parish woman killed in 3-vehicle crash

Published 8:11 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

Trooper Dustin Dwight of the Louisiana State Police said that a 47-year-old Franklinton woman was killed Wednesday in a three-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 440.

According to Dwight, at approximately 2:25 p.m. Wednesday, troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L responded to the crash on Highway 440, near the intersection of Vernon School Road. The crash claimed the life of Sandra Williams, 47, of Franklinton.

Based on the preliminary on-scene investigation, troopers determined that the crash occurred as Owen McPherson, 50, of Harvey was driving a 1995 Peterbilt tractor-trailer eastbound on Highway 440, Dwight said. McPherson reportedly missed his turn, subsequently stopped in the roadway, and began backing onto Vernon School Road.

Dwight said that as McPherson backed up, the cab-tractor portion of his truck was positioned in the westbound lane of Highway 440 between a hillcrest and a sweeping curve. As the Peterbilt truck was obstructing the westbound lane, a separate 2005 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, driven by Billy Mingo, 43, of Bogalusa was traveling westbound on Highway 440 through the sweeping curve, Dwight said.

Dwight said that Mingo observed McPherson’s tractor-trailer blocking his lane and sharply applied the brakes. Mingo’s braking then reportedly caused his tractor-trailer to rotate clockwise and block the east and westbound lanes of Highway 440. Williams was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe eastbound on Highway 440, and the front of her Tahoe crashed into the rear axles of Mingo’s trailer, Dwight said.

Despite being properly restrained, Williams sustained fatal injuries in the crash. She was pronounced deceased on scene by the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office, Dwight said.

Presently, impairment is not considered as a contributing factor in this crash. As part of the ongoing investigation, blood samples were collected from Williams. The samples will be sent to the crime lab for analysis. Mingo and McPherson both provided troopers with voluntary breath samples, which showed no amount of alcohol present, Dwight said.

McPherson was arrested and booked into the Washington Parish Jail for improper backing, aggravated obstruction of a roadway, and negligent homicide.

The investigation is ongoing and any additional charges will be referred to the Washington Parish District Attorney’s Office, Dwight said.