'Devil's Triangle': Latest deadly crash renews concerns over dangerous stretch of I-10
PORT ALLEN - A major crash involving a bus and a semi-truck left one person dead Thursday afternoon. It happened on I-10 at LA 415, an area notorious for dangerous accidents.
Accidents are so common on the stretch of I-10 between Grosse Tete and LA 1 that law enforcement on the west side of the Mississippi River dubbed it the "Devil's Triangle" years ago. Today, the name still sticks, according to Lt. Ken Albarez.
“In my 29 years, I can remember when once every couple of years we had to close the interstate down to divert traffic to US 190, now we’re doing it once a month," said Lt. Albarez, who runs the traffic division at the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
Albarez told WBRZ in 2017 the name comes from the bottleneck scenario drivers face when the interstate merges from three lanes down to one, creating bumper-to-bumper traffic during rush hour.
“The only place in the country that reduces down to one lane, and we have got to do something about it," Albarez said in 2017.
Years later, he says fatal crashes have only become more common. However, the Department of Transportation and Development provided data that says there have been more than 500 crashes, but only two fatalities between LA 415 and LA 1 since 2018.
Those numbers came as a shock to Lt. Albarez.
“I don’t know what numbers the DOTD has. I don’t work for the DOTD, I work for the WBRSO. So, if that’s what they said, then awesome. But today they can add another one, because another young man got killed," he said. "I don’t know what the answer is. I’m not blaming DOTD. I’m just saying we’ve gotta come up with something.”
The driver of the 18-wheeler, Ricky Hagar, was killed instantly according to the sheriff's office. I-10 was shut down for over six hours Thursday.
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