The Schaff Family of Baton Rouge. Parents April and Louis and children Evie, Lily and Louis P. Schaff III.

Baton Rouge mother killed | Father & kids survive I-12 crash on New Year’s Day

BATON ROUGE – The first day of the new year has turned into a living nightmare for a Baton Rouge family.

The Schaff family was returning home on New Year’s Day after visiting family in Mississippi when they were involved in a deadly multi-car accident.

Louis M. Schaff II, 42, his wife April Hood Schaff, 44, and their three children were only 20 minutes away from home when they had to stop for an accident on Interstate 12 near Holden. As they slowed down and came to a stop, the family’s Volkswagen Atlas was hit by another vehicle, and the impact knocked their SUV into the median.

April Schaff died at the scene.

Louisiana State Police arrested one person in connection with the accident, and the cause is still under investigation.

Outpouring of support as family faces long recovery

News of the accident spread quickly, and Schaff’s family, close friends, and the community banded together to offer their condolences and support.

A GoFundMe page was created to raise money for the surviving family members who suffered extensive injuries and face a long road to recovery. The fund has already topped $122,000.

Louis Schaff and his three children suffered extensive injuries in the crash. He was rushed to a local hospital, and the couple’s two daughters were transported to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

Evie, the oldest daughter, 16, had to be airlifted by helicopter, and Lily, 12, was taken by ambulance. Their son Louis III, 9, was also hospitalized, according to the children’s paternal grandfather, Louis P. Schaff II.

Faced with mounting medical bills, funeral expenses, and the uncertainty of when his son will be able to return to work, the grandfather said he’s humbled and grateful to everyone for the outpouring of love and support.

“We don’t know why these things happen. Family is what this is about,” the elder Schaff told UWK from the hospital with his son.

“Forget about yourself and take care of your family,” Schaff said. “Even if we’re not related, we are all connected and we have to take care of each other.”

LSU college sweethearts recently had their marriage blessed

Louis M. Schaff II grew up in Metairie and April, whose maiden name is Hood, was originally from Central, Louisiana. The two were college sweethearts and met when they attended LSU. They had been married 20 years and recently had their marriage blessed in November.

April would have celebrated her 45th birthday in a couple of weeks, and she was enrolled in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), a process for non-baptized adults to become Catholic.

“She was very involved and committed to her faith and excited to have a deeper relationship with Christ,” according to her father-in-law.

Family and friends are asking everyone to keep the Schaff’s in their prayers as they face a long road to healing physically and emotionally.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area.

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