High school swimmer killed in fiery I-110 crash Wednesday

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BATON ROUGE - A standout high school athlete was killed Wednesday after his vehicle crashed and burst into flames in the middle of a busy interstate.

According to the Baton Rouge Fire Department, the driver's car hit a guardrail on I-110 South near the North 22nd Street exit, flipped onto its side and then caught fire. After firefighters put out the flames, they found the teen dead inside the vehicle.

The coroner's office identified the victim as 17-year-old Tristan Vessel, a Zachary High student and scholarship swimmer. Sources said Vessel was heading to practice Wednesday afternoon when the wreck happened.

Those close to Vessel said he had plans to attend college in Texas. 

The Zachary School District released the following statement after getting news of Vessel's passing.

"We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Tristan Vessel, a senior at Zachary High School. Our sincere condolences and most heartfelt prayers are with his family. We know that losing Tristan is not only difficult for his family, but for his friends, classmates, teammates, and our staff. During this time as the school community processes this tragic loss, we are providing counseling and support to our students and staff.

The Zachary Community School District is one huge family, losing one affects us all. We will make every effort to assist our students and staff during this time of need. Please keep his family and our school family in your prayers."

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