On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, shortly after 2:30 pm, Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 59 at its intersection with Interstate 10 in St. Tammany Parish. The crash claimed the life of 19-year-old Yaquaria Smith of Hattiesburg Mississippi.
The initial investigation revealed that Smith was traveling southbound in the left lane of Interstate 59 in a 2005 Ford Expedition. For reasons still under investigation, Smith veered right towards the Interstate 10 eastbound off-ramp and exited the roadway. Her vehicle impacted a roadway sign and then a tree on the driver’s side.
Smith was properly restrained and sustained fatal injuries during the crash. She was pronounced deceased on the scene by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office. A two-year-old passenger was properly restrained in a child safety seat and transported to a local area hospital for injuries sustained during the crash. Impairment is not suspected to be a factor, however, as part of the ongoing investigation, a blood sample was taken from Smith for scientific analysis. The crash remains under investigation.