Slidell resident killed while driving through floodwater

Friday, August 31, 2012 - 1:45pm

On Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7:40 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a single vehicle fatal crash on the I-10 eastbound onramp from Oak Harbor Blvd. in St. Tammany Parish. The crash took the life of Slidell resident Nicholas Wojcik, 75.

Troopers’ investigation revealed that Wojcik was attempting to maneuver through approximately four feet of flood water on Oak Harbor Blvd. when he turned onto the I-10 eastbound onramp. Upon entering the onramp, Wojcik travelled off the left side of the roadway and entered the ditch becoming submerged in approximately nine feet of water.

Troopers and first responders arrived at the crash scene within minutes; however, Wojcik was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office. Wojcik was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Driver impairment is not suspected pending toxicology results.

Divers from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in the recovery of the vehicle.

Motorists are reminded to follow the following safety guidelines when encountering flooded roadways:

Do not drive through flooded areas. If you come across a flooded road, turn around and find another route to your destination. Do not drive around barricades.
Do not try to cross flooded roads where the water appears to be shallow. Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water.
If your car stalls, abandon it and climb to higher ground. Wait for the waters to subside.
One foot of water will float many vehicles.
Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger vehicles, causing drivers to possibly lose control of the car.
Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles, including pick-up trucks and SUVs.
Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
Louisiana State Police will be patrolling affected areas throughout the state for potentially dangerous situations and motorists creating a traffic hazard.

For up-to-date road closure information, citizens can visit www.lsp.org and click on "Road Closures" on the main page. In addition, Troopers are posting regular weather, road conditions, and LSP activities on the LSP Facebook page.

To report stalled vehicles or unsafe roadway conditions, you may dial *LSP (*577) from your cellular phone to reach the State Police office closest to you.

Citizens and visitors are also urged to enroll in Nixle Alerts for real time updates on roadway closures, crash locations, and pertinent safety information for their region of the state. To enroll visit www.nixle.com, complete the required information, and select Louisiana State Police as your agency.

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