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Flatbed truck crash in Louisiana under investigation (with video)

Driver suffers minor injuries after truck plunges down I-10 embankment

A flatbed truck belonging to Lake Charles, Louisiana-based Pappillion Trucking drove off Interstate 10, crashed and caught fire Thursday. (Image: Rayne Police Department)

The cause of a tractor-trailer barreling off a highway and bursting into flames in Rayne, Louisiana, is under investigation.

The incident occurred Thursday when a flatbed truck belonging to Lake Charles, Louisiana-based Pappillion Trucking traveling east on Interstate 10 left the roadway, drove down an embankment, crossed a street, crashed onto private property and caught fire.

Rayne is located along I-10, between Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana.

The driver of the truck, Christopher Thibodeaux, sustained minor injuries, according to a report from the Rayne Police Department.  

Thibodeaux reportedly told police that as he was driving, he heard a loud popping noise and lost control of the steering, “like a tire rod or steering shaft had broke.” The report said Thibodeaux applied the brakes to try and stop the truck from running off the road, “but the brakes weren’t working and he couldn’t steer.” 

Sgt. Michael Cormier of the Rayne Police Department was the responding officer at the scene of the accident and wrote in the report that he “didn’t see any skid marks where Mr. Thibodeaux said he applied his brakes — on the roadway or the grass area.” 

“I also didn’t see any gouge marks in the grass or roadway from where Mr. Thibodeaux stated that his steering had broken off,” Cormier wrote. “I explained to Mr. Thibodeaux, if his steering had broken off, his tires would have went either to the left or right, and that would have caused a lot of gouge marks in the grass.” 

The accident is under investigation. Neither Thibodeaux nor Pappillion Trucking responded to FreightWaves’ requests for information prior to publication.

Pappillion Trucking is listed as having nine power units and 10 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The company has tractors, dry van trailers, dump trucks and flatbed trailers.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]