Barksdale Airman killed in I-49 crash

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RAPIDES PARISH– Saturday night, an active duty member of the Air Force, assigned to Security Forces at Barksdale Air Force Base, was killed after his vehicle crashed on Interstate 49, setting off a series of events.

According to a release from Louisiana State Police Troop E, State Troopers responded to the crash around 8:20 p.m., which occurred on Interstate 49, at the Cheneyville overpass, located at Exit 56.

The crash involved a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Eduardo Ramos Jr., 22, of Barksdale Air Force Base, a 2005 Peterbilt, driven by Shane Williams, 49, of Nett Lake, Minn., a 2008 Honda Pilot, driven by Esther D. Smith, 59, of St Landry, and a 2014 Toyota Camry, driven by Cody M. Stanley, 19, of Cheneyville.

The Chevrolet was southbound on Interstate 49 when Ramos Jr. lost control and collided with the overpass bridge rail. This collision caused the Chevrolet to become disabled in the southbound inside lane of Interstate 49, on the overpass over LA Hwy 181. Then, Smith stopped her Honda, in the roadway, to provide assistance. This resulted in the Peterbilt colliding with the Chevrolet and the Honda.

A pedestrian, identified as Bobby E. Savage, 59, of Bunkie,was standing near the Chevrolet when the Peterbilt collided with it and the Honda. As a result, Savage was hit with debris from the vehicles. Then, Ramos Jr. exited his vehicle and either jumped or fell from the overpass onto LA Hwy 181, approximately 25 feet below. Immediately after Ramos Jr. impacted LA Hwy 181, the northbound Toyota collided with him.

Ramos Jr. is suspected of being impaired. He was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown if he died from the fall or after being struck by the Toyota.

None of the other drivers, involved in the crash, are suspected of being impaired.

Savage received minor injuries and was transported to Bunkie General Hospital.

Williams was wearing his seat belt and was not injured.

Smith and her two passengers were wearing their seat belts. All three were transported to Bunkie General Hospital with minor injuries.

Stanley and his passenger were wearing their seat belts. They were not injured.

Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

In 2018, Troop E has investigated 40 fatal crashes resulting in 44 deaths.