Fourth accident victim identified

Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The fourth victim in Friday’s fatal accident has been identified as Thomas Farrugia Jr., 76, of Carriere.

According to a press release from the Louisiana State Police, Farrugia was one of four people who died in an accident that occurred at about 9 a.m. Friday on Interstate 59, just across the state line in Louisiana.

A tractor trailer truck driven by 37 year-old Juan Torres of Montgomery Texas, crossed the median from the north bound lanes after a front tire reportedly blew out. After crossing the median the ttruck entered the south bound lane and struck a 2003 Dodge pickup, nearly head-on, driven by 57 year-old Daniel Dickson of Carriere. The truck had three passengers, including Farrugia.

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Dickson, Farrugia and the other two passengers in the pickup were killed in the accident. They were identified as 76 year-old Eva Farrugia and 35 year-old Thomas Farrugia, both of Carriere. Three of the four people in the Dodge were ejected from the vehicle in the accident. The fourth had to be extricated.

Torres suffered only minor injuries in the accident. He has since been charged with careless operation of a vehicle and four counts of negligent homicide. He was last known to be held in the St. Tammany Parish jail.

A third vehicle was involved in the accident when debris struck the windshield of a Mercedes SUV driven by 39 year-old Jessica Garcia of Gretna, La. She was behind the Dodge when the accident occured. She suffered no injuries in the accident, the release states.