Accident takes the lives of three Picayune residents

Published 10:56 pm Saturday, October 7, 2006

Funeral services are at 3 p.m. today at First Baptist Church of Picayune for three Picayune women killed in an automobile accident Thursday afternoon on Interstate 12 near Mandeville, La.

The three are Anita Sheffield, 50, and her two daughters, Betsy Sheffield, 27, and Karen Sheffield, 23.

The accident was caused by an unsecured ladder that fell out the back of a pickup truck, according to a report on the accident from the Louisiana State Police.

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The crash involved a 1999 Chevrolet pickup, driven by Salvador Cetrone, 43, of Slidell, La.; an unknown vehicle; a 2006 Freightliner, driven by Lionel Chin, 50, of Pelham, AIa.; a 2006 Ford Fusion, driven by Holly Montgomery, 18, of Slidell; a 2004 Lexus SUV, driven by Karen Sheffield and a 2005 Chrysler Sebring, driven by Antoinette Russell, 49, of Baton Rouge, La., the release states.

The Chevy pickup was traveling eastbound on I-12, when a ladder fell from the pickup causing an unidentified vehicle, also traveling eastbound in the left lane, to abruptly change from the left lane to the right lane to avoid the ladder. The 2006 Freightliner was traveling in the right lane of Interstate 12 and swerved to avoid being struck by the unknown vehicle which crossed over in front of him. The Freightliner overcorrected to the left and hit the Ford Fusion. Both the Freightliner and the Ford Fusion traveled through the grass median and entered the westbound lanes of I-12. At that point, the Freightliner and the Ford Fusion separated and the Freightliner hit the Lexus head on. Prior to hiting the Lexus, the Freightliner struck the left rear of the 2005 Chrysler Sebring, also traveling westbound on I-12.

Cetrone, the driver of the pickup truck, sustained no injuries in the crash and submitted to a chemical breath test, which came back negative, the release states. Cetrone has been charged with three counts of negligent homicide and unsecured load. He was transported to the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

Services for the Sheffields are at 3 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church, with interment in the New Palestine Cemetery under the direction of McDonald Funeral home. Visitation is 1 to 3 p.m. at the church.

Anita Sheffield was survived by her husband, Billy Sheffield of Picayune; her father-in-law, Buntsy Sheffield of Picayune; a daughter, Laura Anne Landrum of Picayune, and a grandson Sam Landrum. Betsy Sheffield and Karen Sheffield were survived by their father, Billy Sheffield; their grandfather, Buntsy Sheffield; a sister, Laura Landrum, and a nephew, Sam Landrum.