Three fatalities reported in Airline Highway crash

Staff Report

A fatal crash occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Nov. 24 on U.S. Hwy. 61 (Airline Highway) south of Interstate 10 near the St. James Parish and Ascension Parish line.

In a news release, Louisiana State Police troopers identified the victims of the crash as 31-year-old Keayette Wilkens, 52-year-old Angela Wilkins, and 10-month-old Jacon Wilkens, all of LaPlace.

The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as Keayette Wilkens and her two passengers, Angela Wilkins and Jacon Wilkens, were traveling north on Hwy. 61 in a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze. At the same time, a 2021 Kia Telluride was traveling south on Hwy. 61.

For reasons still under investigation, the Chevrolet ran off the roadway to the left and crossed the median. After crossing the median, the Chevrolet entered the southbound lanes of US Hwy 61 and struck the Kia. After striking the Kia, the Chevrolet was subsequently struck by a southbound 2008 Toyota Tacoma.

Keayette Wilkens, Angela Wilkins, and Jacon Wilkens were unrestrained at the time of the crash and were ejected from the vehicle. They sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and were pronounced deceased on the scene.

The drivers of the Kia and Toyota were properly restrained and sustained minor injuries.

As part of the ongoing investigation, toxicology samples were obtained from all three drivers for analysis.

"Motorists should always be cognizant of their surroundings and obey posted traffic control signs. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and obeying all traffic laws can often mean the difference between life and death," Trooper First Class Taylor Scrantz stated in a news release.