Death toll in I-55 crash reduced to 7, LSP confirms

Published: Oct. 27, 2023 at 3:56 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Officials have determined that a deadly pile-up on I-55 in Manchac claimed the lives of seven (7) victims rather than the initially reported eight (8) victims.

“Due to the intense fire and the extensive wreckage, the initial investigation led Troopers to believe that there were a total of eight (8) victims. In collaboration with the St. John the Baptist Parish Coroner’s Office, Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office, and The LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory, it has been conclusively determined that there are no additional or unknown victims of this tragic incident other than seven (7) identified victims,” Louisiana State Police said in a press release Friday (Oct. 27), five days after Monday’s horrific crash.

The victims were identified by the St. John Parish Coroner on Thursday as:

  • Nakia Gaines - 48 years old, from New Orleans.
  • Mason Gaines (son) - 6 years old, from Madisonville.
  • Fernando Francisco DeMoraes - 50 years old, from Chalmette.
  • Jose Elias Valle - 38 years old, also from Chalmette.
  • Corinne Hebert - 21 years old, from Plaquemine.
  • James Fleming - 87 years old, originally from Missouri.
  • Quatab Singh Negi - 47 years old, who lived in Hammond and worked as a chef in Hammond and Kenner.

Work is beginning Friday to repair the I-55 southbound lanes that suffered extensive damage. Southbound lanes will continue to reduce to a single lane, the left lane, at the scene of the crash.

The entire northbound portion continues to be closed at this time with no timetable set. A date for reopening will be determined after the DOTD and a third-party consultant complete their inspections.


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