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Trucker arrested on homicide charge following fatal 168 vehicle pileup on foggy I-55

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A trucker involved in a deadly 168 vehicle pileup on foggy I-55 last fall was arrested on a homicide charge this week, according to Louisiana State Police (LSP).

LSP announced that Lafayette truck driver Ronald Britt voluntarily surrendered to police on March 11, 2024, on charges of negligent homicide, negligent injuring, reckless operation, and other traffic offenses.

Britt was involved in a pileup crash that occurred on I-55 near Manchac, Louisiana, on October 23, 2023, during a “super fog” event.

The pileup involved 168 vehicles and left eight people dead and 63 others injured.

Among those who were killed in the crash was motorist James Fleming, 60, from Missouri. Fleming’s wife, Barbara Fleming, 69, survived but suffered severe injuries.

LSP said that Britt was operating an unsafe speed when his truck became part of the pileup crash:

Following an extensive investigation spanning several months, it was determined that during a severe fog weather event, multiple minor crashes occurred on I-55 northbound near milepost 14.3. The poor weather conditions and limited visibility prevented the vehicles involved from safely exiting the roadway. Mr. Fleming managed to stop his vehicle safely without colliding with the other crashed vehicles ahead of him. However, due to the congestion caused by the multiple crashes, he was unable to move his vehicle to a safer location off the road.

Ronald Britt, driving a commercial motor vehicle weighing approximately 80,000 pounds, continued to travel at a speed of around 60 miles per hour just before the fatal crash. It was determined that Britt was operating at a negligent speed, given the driving conditions at the time, directly leading to the death of Mr. Fleming and the injuries sustained by his wife, Barbara Fleming.

“Louisiana State Law requires that drivers maintain a safe speed appropriate for the prevailing driving conditions,” LSP noted.

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