ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. (WGNO) — The Louisiana State Police and additional first responders are still searching for victims of a deadly car pileup in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Investigations revealed the crash happened around 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, on Interstate 55 near Manchac and Ruddock.

Both directions of the roadway were closed as a result of the pileup.

Troopers reported at least 158 vehicles were involved, 25 people were taken to area hospitals with a range of injuries, and seven deaths have been confirmed.

In the midst of the crash, a tanker truck carrying what troopers described as a hazardous liquid caught fire after the initial crash. Troopers say the truck is in the process of being unloaded and once the truck is removed, responders will be able to better assess the vehicles in that area.

Officials note additional fatalities are possible but Louisiana State Police ask that anyone missing a family member who may have been driving in the area at that time, call Troop B at (504)- 471-2775.  

Witnesses and additional crash victims are encouraged to do the same.

Vernon Banks’ son, Alexander Robinson, was one of the dozens of drivers involved in the pileup.

“He got a gash in his leg. A state trooper patched him up. Shoulder dislocated. Other than that, he’s fine,” said Banks.

Luckily, Robinson is okay. But many others are injured.

In the pileup, a tanker caught fire and a car went over into Lake Maurepas.

“Thankfully, the driver was abler to get out of the vehicle,” said LSP Sergeant Kate Stegall.

The LSP is still trying to determine exactly how many crashes happened. After providing medical assistance, that’s when they have the enormous task of clearing all the cars.

“Going to require a lot of tow trucks. Companies from all over are coming to get tow trucks here,” said Stegall.

Stegall said there was “extremely low visibility” on the roadway at the time of the crash.

The Blood Center is urging people to donate blood following the crashes. Blood donation centers near you can be found online.

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