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Man who went missing in Port Allen crash during May flood arrested on several charges

Alfredo Rojas Alvarado
Alfredo Rojas Alvarado(West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:32 PM CDT
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PORT ALLEN, La. (WAFB) - A man who went missing when a car became submerged in a canal in May is now in the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail, authorities say.

Alfredo Rojas Alvarado, 30, has been arrested on charges of hit and run, careless operation, and driving without a license, a spokesperson with the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office tells WAFB.

Deputies were dispatched to a crash on LA 415 north of I-10 during a severe rainstorm on the night of May 17.

Officials said a black sedan with three people in it crashed into a canal and became submerged. One passenger Heremelindo Morentes, 40, became stuck in the car and died, authorities say.

Two witnesses and the other passenger who survived the crash told deputies they saw Alvarado get sucked into the culvert under LA 145 by the fast-moving current. First responders searched for Alvarado into the night and again on May 18 but were unable to find him.

According to arrest records, Alvarado admitted to driving the black sedan when the crash happened.

Deputies say Alvarado told them he hit the brakes when approaching the traffic light on LA 415 and the vehicle slid on the wet roadway and it crashed into the canal.

Officials say Alvarado survived the crash and made it to the bank of the canal. Alvarado told investigators he did not make contact with first responders at the scene because he did not have a US driver’s license and feared being deported back to Guatemala, deputies say.

According to arrest records, Alvarado told investigators he was able to walk home that night and contacted an attorney several days after the incident.

Deputies say Alvarado went to Louisiana State Police Troop A on June 15 with his lawyer and a translator and made a statement about the crash to investigators.

An arrest warrant was issued for Alvarado on June 25 and he was arrested and booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail on June 28.

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