ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police are investigating a two vehicle crash that killed a man and left his passenger seriously injured.
State Police say the crash happened just after 11 a.m. on Airline Highway near LA 73 in Ascension Parish.
According to State Police, an initial investigation revealed that 18-year-old Jerry Mendez was driving southbound on Airline Hwy. in his 2006 Toyota Tundra when he lost control and ran off of the right side of the roadway.
Mendez then hit the drivers side of a 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by 46-year-old Tomas Hernandez-Lozano as he was waiting to exit the parking lot of the Flea Market of Louisiana. The impact caused the Hernandez-Lozano's vehicle to overturn and roll before coming to a stop.
Hernandez-Lozano, who was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner's Office. His passenger, who was also wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, suffered serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Mendez received only minor injuries in the crash.
State Police say through the investigation it was determined that Mendez was impaired.
Mendez was arrested and will be booked with vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injuring, driving while intoxicated (1st offense), reckless operation and operating a vehicle without a license.
A toxicology sample was taken from both Mendez and Hernandez-Lozano and will be sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
The crash is still under investigation.