Man arrested for wreck involving death of DOTD worker in DeSoto Parish

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:50 AM CDT
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DeSOTO PARISH, La. (KSLA) - A 42-year-old man has been arrested for a wreck in DeSoto Parish that happened back in January that left one person dead and three injured.

Louisiana State Police says on Wednesday, March 29, troopers arrested Charles Barker, 42, of Florien. He’s charged with negligent homicide and was booked into the DeSoto Parish Jail.

The crash happened on Jan. 25 just before 3:30 p.m. on Highway 171 near WPA Road. The three-vehicle wreck claimed the life of Christopher Gray, 35, of Lake Charles.

LSP’s investigation shows an empty log truck, being driven by Barker, was headed south on Highway 171, when at the same time, two DOTD vehicles were stopped in the right lane of the highway as crews were working on the road. Barker’s truck hit the first DOTD vehicle (a 2018 Dodge Ram pickup truck), causing it to leave the highway. After that first impact, LSP says the log truck hit the second DOTD vehicle (a 2015 Ford dump truck).

Gray was standing behind the Ford and was hit. Another DOTD worker was standing in the bed of the Ford and was thrown from the truck.

Gray was pronounced dead on-scene, while Barker and two other DOTD workers were taken to local hospitals with moderate injuries, LSP says.

Police do not believe impairment played a part in this crash, but toxicology samples were taken nonetheless.