The initial investigation led Troopers to determine that the crash occurred as 38-year-old Viola Oliver II of Ponchatoula was driving southbound on I-55 in the left lane. Oliver lost control of her vehicle as she attempted to exit to US 51. The vehicle overturned 4-5 times, before coming to final rest upside down on the I-55 West Service Road.
Three unrestrained juvenile occupants were ejected from the vehicle during the crash sequence. Solomon Short was transported to North Oaks Hospital in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after his arrival. The two additional juvenile occupants also sustained moderate injuries in the crash. They were transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge by Acadian Air-med, where they remain in critical condition. Oliver was trapped within her vehicle. She was extricated by the Ponchatoula Fire Department and transported to North Oaks hospital by Acadian Ambulance in critical condition.
Impairment is suspected to have contributed to this crash. Oliver was issued a citation for Careless Operation and two counts of No Child Restraint (under 13 years old not properly restrained). Following the completion of the investigation and the results of the pending scientific analysis, Troopers will consult with the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney’s Office in reference to filing any additional criminal charges.