DeSOTO PARISH, La. — Two men are dead and a road is expected to remain closed for a while in the wake of a fiery collision involving a loaded log truck.
Killed in the wreck on Louisiana Highway 175 just southeast of Mansfield in DeSoto Parish were 45-year-old Joseph Free, of Pleasant Hill, and 63-year-old Donnie Rogers, of Magnolia, Ark., authorities say.
The wreck happened early Wednesday afternoon south of Louisiana Highway 522, according to Louisiana State Police.
Preliminary investigation shows Free was driving a 2020 Peterbilt south on LA 175 when it crossed the center line and struck a northbound commercial vehicle being driven by Rogers.
Both vehicles became engulfed in flames upon impact, Trooper First Class Brent Hardy said.
Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
Toxicology samples have been obtained and submitted for analysis, Hardy said.
The crash also caused major damage to the Chatman Bayou Bridge, which is just south of Antioch Road, and left the span unsafe for travel, the DeSoto Sheriff’s Office reports.
“We are currently awaiting DOTD to assess and repair damage; therefore, you may expect this portion of the roadway to remain closed for several days,” says a post on the law enforcement agency’s Facebook page.
The section of highway that is closed runs between 16404 LA 175 to 16732 LA 175.