Open in App
  • U.S.
  • Newsletter
  • CBS News

    Truck driver charged in deadly "super fog" pileup in Louisiana

    By Li Cohen,


    Deadly pileup blamed on fog, wildfire smoke 01:11

    A Louisiana truck driver has been arrested on multiple charges , including negligent homicide, for the state's 168-car "super fog" pileup in October. Eight people were killed in the pileup, including one man who police said died as a direct result of the truck driver who was driving at a "negligent speed."

    Police said this week that they arrested Ronald Britt and charged him with negligent homicide, negligent injuring, reckless operation and other traffic offenses related to the incident on I-55. In Louisiana, negligent homicide has a maximum sentence of five years in jail and/or $5,000.

    The Missouri man who died in the incident, 60-year-old James Fleming, had "managed to stop his vehicle safely with the other crashed vehicles ahead of him" during a pileup that occurred during "poor weather conditions and limited visibility" that day, police said. But because multiple crashes had already occurred, he could not move his car to a safer location.

    That's when Britt, who was driving a truck that weighed roughly 80,000 pounds, arrived on the scene while traveling at roughly 60 miles per hour, police said.

    "It was determined that Britt was operating at a negligent speed, given the driving conditions at the time, directly leading to the death of Mr. Fleming and the injuries sustained by his wife, Barbara Fleming," police said. "...Louisiana State Law requires that drivers maintain a safe speed appropriate for the prevailing driving conditions."

    The incident occurred during a "super fog" event, which is when a mix of smoke and fog reduced visibility to less than 10 feet, according to CBS affiliate WWL-TV . The phenomenon "can be very dangerous when present over highways," the National Weather Service says, "and has been the cause of several large, multi-vehicle pileups."

    Britt voluntarily surrendered to the police on Monday.

    Louisiana State Police said in October that eight people were killed and 63 were injured in the pileup, which involved at least 168 vehicles, including a tanker truck that had been carrying "hazardous liquid."

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0