WEBSTER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana State Police are reminding drivers to move out of travel lanes following crashes after two Texas residents were killed Sunday evening after a vehicle hit a deer.
According to troopers, Omar Gonzalez, 44, of Mission, Texas and Myphuong Thi Truong, 47, of Georgetown, Texas were killed in the crash.
Troopers were called to the scene on I-20, west of U.S. Hwy 371 just before 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. Their investigation determined that Truong and Leslie T. Truong, 62 were traveling westbound in a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee when they hit a deer. The Truongs then got out of the vehicle while they were still in the lane of travel.
Shortly after the initial crash, Rafael Escobar Lopez, 41, of Waxahachie, Texas, was driving a 2016 Toyota Tundra and stopped in the roadway behind the Truong’s Jeep. As the Jeep and the Tundra were stopped a 2021 Toyota 4Runner, driven by Omar Gonzalez, hit the Tundra.
The impact caused the Tundra to hit both Truongs as they were standing in the roadway. Myphuong Thi Truong was pronounced dead at the scene. Leslie T. Truong was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. Lopez and two passengers in the Tundra were not wearing seatbelts and suffered minor injuries. Gonzalez, who was also not wearing a seatbelt in the 4Runner, was taken to Minden Medical Center, where he later died.
Impairment is not suspected. However, troopers took toxicology samples from all drivers. The crash remains under investigation, but state police took the opportunity to share a reminder.
“Louisiana law states that if you are involved in a crash and your vehicle is still drivable, you should move your vehicle to the emergency shoulder immediately,” state police said in a statement. “This simple action can prevent more severe secondary crashes from occurring. In addition, motorists should avoid all distractions while driving so that they are aware of any object or vehicle that may be obstructing the travel lane.”