A Gulfport man accused in a fatal hit-and-run accident that plunged an 18-wheeler into the Pearl River, killing its driver, has refused extradition back to Louisiana to face the felony charges there, records show.
Daniel Alex Coy, 25, appeared in court in the Harrison County jail after his arrest Thursday and refused to waive extradition. He is facing charges of negligent homicide, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and felony hit-and-run in Louisiana. He is being held without bond.
Louisiana State Police Trooper Dustin Dwight said they are in the process of obtaining a governor's warrant to have Coy returned. St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Warren Montgomery is initiating the request which will ultimately have to be signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The process is expected to take at least 10 days before a judge in Harrison County will decide whether to uphold the warrant.
Coy was arrested in connection with the Tuesday night crash that killed Steven Shawn Clark, 26, of Theodore, Ala.
Louisiana police took Coy into custody with assistance from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.
According to Louisiana State Police, the crash occurred at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday as Clark was headed west in the left lane of Interstate 10 in a 2013 Freightliner 18-wheeler.
Another 18-wheeler, driven by Robert Torrez, 51, of San Antonio, Texas, was next to Clark's truck in the right lane.
LSP Trooper Dustin Dwight said witnesses and on-scene evidence resulted in authorities identifying a dark blue Chevrolet Silverado that Coy was driving as the vehicle that caused the deadly crash.
The crash occurred, authorities said, after Coy attempted to pass Torrez's 18-wheeler on the right shoulder. As Coy's pickup approached a bridge, authorities said, he quickly turned to the left to avoid a concrete guardrail and his pickup truck hit the front of Torrez's big rig as well as the left driver's side.
After impact, Torrez's 18-wheeler veered into the left lane and crashed into Clark's 18-wheeler, which pushed it through a concrete barrier on the bridge before crashing into the Pearl River. Divers with the St. Tammany Sheriff's Office recovered Clark's remains Wednesday morning.
Authorities said Coy never stopped after the crash, continuing westbound on I-10 toward Slidell.
Officials with the Louisiana Department of Transportation have been working to repair 130-feet of bridge's guardrails destroyed as a result of the crash.
In addition, Dwight said, officials have pulled Clark's 18-wheeler out of the Pearl River. The truck contained 40,000 pounds of industrial paper products, he said, and is now sitting in the interstate median until officials move it out of the area Saturday. He said authorities expect to move the big rig at night with minimal traffic delays.