Louisiana Chef Among 8 Dead After ‘Super Fog’ Multi-Car Pileup Crash

An additional 63 people were injured in Monday's deadly crash, according to the Louisiana State Police

<p>Louisiana State Police/Facebook</p> Eight people were killed in a pileup crash in Louisiana on Oct. 23, 2023

Louisiana State Police/Facebook

Eight people were killed in a pileup crash in Louisiana on Oct. 23, 2023

Family and friends have identified a victim of the Louisiana highway pileup crash amid a "super fog" as officials announced that the death toll from the collision increased to eight.

The deadly Monday morning crash on Interstate 55 in St. John the Baptist Parish killed Qutub Singh Negi, per Fox affiliate WVUE-TV, NBC affiliate WDSU-TV and loved ones.

The husband and father of two, who worked as a head chef at Punjabi Dhaba Indian restaurant in Hammond and Kenner, died about 10 hours after he was taken to North Oaks Hospital, according to the outlets.

Raj Pannu, Negi’s friend, said that the chef deeply loved his family and was also "a friend to all of us," WVUE-TV reported.

Negi was headed to work when the tragic accident occurred, per the reports.

Related: More Than 2 Dozen People Hurt in Pileup on Wisconsin Highway Due to Heavy Snow

Louisiana State Police (LSP) said on Facebook Tuesday that an "ongoing investigation determined that at least 168 vehicles were involved in the crash, and 63 individuals received injuries in the incident."

An LSP spokesperson tells PEOPLE that the agency has not "released any names yet" but expects to disclose them "in the near future."

"A portion of the crash scene caught on fire shortly after the initial incident," state police said Monday in a separate release on Facebook. "One tanker truck carrying a hazardous liquid is being off-loaded due to a compromised tank/trailer. Once the tanker is removed, first responders will be able to better assess the vehicles in that immediate area."

Related: 2 Children Among 6 Dead After Montana Dust Storm Causes Highway Pileup

According to WDSU-TV, it took hours before Negi's family was notified that he was in the crash. Pannu told the station that the victim's wife is devastated following her husband's death. The couple had recently celebrated 15 years of marriage.

"She is talking, then she cries," he added. "She shows me pictures of all the good times they had. All we can do is give her the moral support and tell her to be strong."

In its statement Monday, the LSP noted there had been "heavy fog" in the area of the crash. Marsh fires in the region and dense fog combined to cause a "super fog," ABC News previously reported. This led to visibility dropping to near zero and making driving dangerous.

Related: Woman Dies, Several Others Injured in 48-Car Pileup in Wisconsin: 'It All happened So Fast'

"All vehicles have been removed from both sides of I-55, and [the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development] has begun the clean-up of the roadway," the LSP said Tuesday. "DOTD bridge inspectors are onsite conducting preliminary inspections and have identified multiple areas requiring bridge repairs. A comprehensive structural inspection will take place once the bridge surface is completely clear of debris, diesel, and other chemicals."

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Meanwhile, those who knew Negi are stressing that his family needs financial help. "He was the breadwinner," Pannu told WVUE-TV. "His wife does not work. Private school. She needs all the support that she can get."

A GoFundMe launched by Negi's friends is asking to raise money for the family "at this time of sorrow." As of Wednesday afternoon, over $40,000 had been donated.

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