SLIDELL -- Louisiana State Troopers have arrested a suspect in connection with the fatal hit-and-run accident that sent an 18-wheeler into the Pearl River, killing its driver Tuesday night.
LSP Trooper Dustin Dwight said Thursday that Daniel Alex Coy, 25, of Gulfport, faces charges of negligent homicide, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and felony hit-and-run.
With the assistance of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, Louisiana State Police troopers took Coy into custody early Thursday.
He is being held at the Harrison County Sheriff's Office in Biloxi pending extradition to Louisiana.
The wreck involved Coy's pickup and two 18-wheelers, one of which fell off an Interstate 10 bridge just west of the Mississippi-Louisiana border and plunged into the Pearl River, killing driver Steven Shawn Clark, 26, of Theodore, Ala.
Dwight said, based on independent witness statements and on-scene evidence, troopers determined a dark blue Chevrolet Silverado registered to a Gulfport resident was at fault in the deadly crash. Through their continued investigation, authorities confirmed Coy was the driver of the Silverado.
Troopers' initial on-scene investigation revealed the crash occurred shortly after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when Clark was westbound in the left lane of I-10 in a 2013 Freightliner 18-wheeler.
Next to Clark's truck in the right lane was a second 18-wheeler driven by Roberto Torrez, 51, of San Antonio, Texas. Officials erroneously reported a different name for the driver of the second truck Wednesday.
Coy attempted to pass Torrez's 18-wheeler on the right shoulder, officials said, and as his pickup approached the bridge he abruptly steered to the left to avoid the concrete guardrail. Upon veering into the right lane, Coy's pickup struck the front of Torrez's truck with its left driver's side, Dwight said.
Torrez's 18-wheeler then entered the left lane and crashed into Clark's vehicle. Clark's 18-wheeler was pushed through the left concrete barrier before crashing into the Pearl River.
Clark's remains were recovered Wednesday morning by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office Dive Team. St. Tammany Parish Coroner's officials pronounced him dead on the scene.
After the crash Coy fled the scene, continuing westbound on I-10 towards Slidell, Dwight said.
The westbound and eastbound lanes of I-10 were closed for several hours as divers were in the water and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials tried unsuccessfully to remove the big-rig from the river. As efforts stalled, crews cleared the scene reopened eastbound lanes about 6 a.m. Wednesday.
About 130 feet of the bridge's guardrails were destroyed as the 18-wheeler drove off the bridge.
DOTD officials began repairing the guardrails Wednesday, leaving westbound traffic slightly congested for part of the day.
Clark's 18-wheeler still remained submerged in the river as of Thursday afternoon.
ASAP Towing and Road Service will begin trying to remove Clark's vehicle Thursday evening. The recovery will initially be attempted using equipment from the center median with no expected impact to interstate traffic. If recovery efforts are not successful with the center median approach, further plans will be developed with any potential lane closures to be announced.