On December 17, 2021, shortly after 9:00 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop I was notified of a two-vehicle crash at mile post 40 on I-49 (near LA 29) in St. Landry Parish. The crash claimed the life of 54-year-old John Lundy of Dallas, Georgia, 20-year-old Lindy Rae Simmons, 14-year-old Kamryn Simmons, and 16-year-old Christopher Simmons, all of Jeanerette. Lindy was a Marketing major at Nicholls State University.
The initial investigation revealed Lundy was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado pickup north in the southbound lanes of I-49. Lindy Simmons was driving a 2017 Cadillac XT5 SUV south on I-49. The vehicles struck head-on in the left lane.
Lundy, whose restraint use is unknown, was pronounced dead at the scene. Lindy Simmons, who was restrained, was also pronounced dead at the scene. Kamryn and Christopher Simmons were transported to local hospitals where they ultimately succumbed to their injuries. Two other passengers in the SUV were also transported and remain in critical condition.
Standard toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers; results are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. This crash remains under investigation.
In a statement from Dr. Michele Caruso, Vice President of Student Affairs, the university offered its condolences and support for students:
“Our campus has experienced an inordinate amount of loss this year. We know that during such times it is our community that we lean on for support. There is truly no greater sadness for a university and its members than the loss of a student. As always, I would like to remind you that we have services to support the emotional well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”
I encourage those who feel they may need support or observe a Nicholls family member in distress to contact the Counseling Center, which will be available for grief related virtual appointments over the holiday break. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
In one night the lives of several families have changed forever due to preventable circumstances. Over and over again, Troopers see the tragic consequences of preventable motor vehicle crashes. The Louisiana State Police urges motorists to have a plan in place that includes always wearing your seat belt, never driving distracted or tired, and having a designated driver or an alternate ride home when consuming alcohol. Please choose to not drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver.
Troop I has investigated 61 fatal crashes resulting in 75 deaths in 2021.