4 killed, 13 injured in massive, fiery pileup on Louisiana highway

Photos from the scene showed cars completely incinerated.

A horrific crash on a Louisiana highway Saturday left several cars little more than a pile of ash and twisted metal. Four people were killed and 13 others were injured in the accident, which involved two tractor trailers and multiple cars, officials said.

The accident on Interstate 12 at Highway 21 near Covington, Louisiana, happened in two stages, according to the Louisiana State Police, with the first crash involving a tractor trailer and several cars. After a deputy from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office stopped to assist, a second accident, including a tanker truck, took place.

The sheriff's office reported their deputy was one of those injured, however, he is expected to make a full recovery. Authorities have not released identities of those killed.

A large fire consumed several of the vehicles. It was put out by 4 p.m., according to the Goodbee Fire Department.

Photos shared by the Louisiana State Police showed piles of ash that used to be cars, while the entire front cab of the tractor trailer was burned.

St. Tammany Coroner's Office said in a press release late Saturday that two people were pronounced dead on scene, while a third died at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. The fourth body had yet to be recovered, officials said.

I-12 eastbound was closed for hours, police said.

"This was a horrific crash," St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "We are praying for all who have been affected by this tragedy and are grateful to the many who have expressed their concern."

Covington is located on the northern side of Lake Pontchartrain, about 45 minutes across the lake's causeway from New Orleans.