2 die after truck hits tree and catches fire

PLAQUEMINE, LA (WAFB) - Authorities said two men were killed when the truck they were in hit a tree and caught fire Wednesday night.

Louisiana State Police identified the victims as Charles Pope, 53, and Maurice Cormier, 52, both of Denham Springs. Troopers said Pope was driving.

TFC Jared Sandifer with LSP reported the crash happened on LA 1148 near LA 1 in Plaquemine around 9:15 p.m. He said the initial investigation showed Pope lost control of the 2004 Ford F-150 and went off the road.

He added the truck spun and slammed into a tree. According to Sandifer, the truck then went back onto the road and caught fire.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Sandifer added Pope was wearing a seatbelt, while Cormier was not.

Sandifer said impairment by Pope is unknown and as is the case with all deadly crashes on state highways, a sample of his blood was sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

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