Gail Rippel, 85, died following a three-vehicle crash involving a Livingston Parish (LA) fire truck, reports TheAdvocate.com.
The Denham Springs resident was heading south on Pete’s Highway Sunday morning when an apparatus from Fire Protection District No. 5 in the northbound lane crashed into the rear of a trailer. The two vehicles crossed the centerline, colliding with Rippel’s car.
Officials say that the apparatus was driving the speed limit at the time of the crash. They add that the driver of a fourth car tried to make a left turn into the northbound lane of the highway in front of a vehicle towing a trailer, which sandwiched the trailer-towing vehicle between the engine and the turning car.
Rippel died after being taken to a hospital, officials say. Cody Kahl, the driver of the truck, was also taken to the hospital but was released. He underwent a routine toxicology report at the hospital, although officials say impairment is not suspected as a factor in the crash. The third driver, Louis Constanza Jr. of Albany, eschewed medical attention at the scene.
Denham Springs Police is investigating the incident. And Kahl is on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, though that’s more to give the 23-year-old time to clear his head as opposed to punishment.