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Frantic 911 calls released in "wrong way" big rig incident

3 years ago May 21, 2012 May 21, 2012 Monday, May 21 2012 Monday, May 21, 2012 2:57:01 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Chris Nakamoto

IBERVILLE PARISH - Frantic calls for help at the Iberville Parish Emergency Operations Center flooded phone lines Friday night.

It followed the driver of an 18-wheeler traveling the wrong way on Interstate 10.

"He was flying," one caller told dispatchers.

"Is he still traveling?" the dispatcher asked.

"I can't see him. He passed me up like I was standing still," the caller replied.

State troopers said 62-year old Marshall Smith drove on the wrong side of the road for nearly 25 miles, starting at the Ramah exit. Troopers had to place spike strips down to get him to stop.  When they finally caught up to him he was arrested for DWI and hit and run. 

Tom Ervin has been driving trucks for nearly two decades.  He believes Smith may have done it on purpose.

"You don't drive 25 miles on the interstate the wrong way, because everyone is coming at you," Ervin said. "The other trucks if you have the C-B on they will be yelling at you, 'Hey you're going the wrong way!'"

Ultimately, most drivers believe some divine intervention took place, sparing the lives of everyone on the Atchafalaya Basin Friday.

"I pray to God he doesn't kill somebody," one 911 caller said.

The company that employed Smith declined News 2's request for a comment.

Right now, Smith remains locked up in the St. Martin Parish Jail.  Troopers say he will be transferred to the Iberville Parish Jail to face other charges there.

To hear the tapes, watch WBRZ at 6 p.m.

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