Mississippi woman killed, 2-year-old injured in interstate accident

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Mississippi woman was killed Tuesday when her car left a stretch of interstate in Louisiana and collided with a road sign and ultimately a tree. Her 2-year-old passenger was injured but survived.

Louisiana State Police said the fatal crash occurred on Interstate 59 at its intersection with Interstate 10 in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, and killed Yaquaria Smith, 19, 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.

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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.