Louisiana Driver Arrested in Fatal Multi-Vehicle Crash on I-12 that Claimed Life of One and Injured Others

By Calcasieu Staff
Published January 02, 2024

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Livingston Parish, Louisiana – Just after 5 pm on the evening of January 1, 2024, Louisiana State Police Troop A initiated an investigation into a multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 12 near LA 441 in Livingston Parish. Tragically, the collision resulted in the loss of life for April Schaff, aged 44, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Initial findings indicated that Ashley Arnone, aged 24, from Independence, Louisiana, was operating a westbound 2021 Hyundai Palisade on Interstate 12. Simultaneously, a 2023 Volkswagen Atlas was decelerating in the left lane behind a stationary 2023 RAM due to an earlier crash. For reasons currently under scrutiny, Arnone continued traveling west and collided with the rear of the Atlas.

This impact caused the Atlas to strike the RAM before veering off the road into the median. The Palisade then collided with the rear of the RAM. Shortly thereafter, a 2017 Honda Accord maneuvered through the crash site and collided with both the Palisade and Atlas.

Arnone was wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact and sustained minor injuries for which she received treatment at a local hospital. The driver and rear passengers of the Atlas were also wearing seatbelts and were transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries resulting from this incident. Despite being properly restrained, however, unfortunately, one passenger in the front of the Atlas succumbed to injuries at the scene. The driver of RAM sustained minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for medical attention. The driver of the Accord emerged from the crash unharmed.

Louisiana State Police indicated that there is no suspicion of impairment on Arnone’s part, but a standard toxicology sample was taken. Arnone was later arrested and taken to the Livingston Parish Detention Center on charges of Vehicular Homicide, Reckless Operation, and Negligent Injuring (4 counts).

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Louisiana State Troopers want to emphasize the importance of making responsible choices while driving. Avoid driving under the influence, when tired, or distracted, adhere to all traffic regulations, and ensure that all passengers are properly secured. While not all crashes can be survived, these simple precautions can often make a significant difference in outcomes.

An arrest is an indication that probable cause exists to believe the subject was involved in the offense alleged. All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.