Trooper injured by impaired driver while responding to fatal crash on Spillway

A Louisiana State Police Trooper was injured while responding to a fatal auto crash on the Bonnet Carre Spillway bridge early Sunday morning, according to Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey.

At approximately 1:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop B responded to a crash on I-10 west at mile post 219.1 that involved two vehicles and a pedestrian. One man from Houma lost his life in the crash.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2010 Toyota Scion, driven by Louis R. Hernandez of Meridian, Miss., was traveling west on I-10 and stopped on the right shoulder of the Bonnet Carre Spillway bridge to urinate, according to Matey. Hernandez had a front seat passenger in the Toyota, David E. Vasquez-Dueno, 21, of Houma. While Hernandez was walking on or near the right lane/right shoulder area of the road, a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado truck was approaching mile post 219.1 in the right lane. The Chevrolet was driven by Joel Ybarra, 42, of Little Rock, Ark. Ybarra attempted to avoid hitting Hernandez and veered to the right, impacting the rear of the Toyota.

Vasquez-Dueno was not wearing a seat belt and suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Hernandez did not have injuries. Ybarra suffered critical injuries and was taken to University Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center. It is unknown if Ybarra was seat belted at the time of the crash and impairment is suspected. Ybarra was arrested for vehicular homicide and careless operation. The crash remains under investigation, Matey said.

A Troop B Trooper was responding to the fatality crash scene to assist with the investigation at approximately 1:45 am. The Trooper was in his fully marked LSP Ford Crown Victoria with all emergency lights activated. The Trooper was in the left lane and was slowing down in order to pull ahead of the other on-scene emergency vehicles and was struck from behind by a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado truck.

The Chevrolet was driven by James F. Osborne IV, 34, of Baton Rouge. The Trooper was wearing a seat belt and received minor injuries. He was transported to St. Charles Hospital. Osborne was impaired and was found to be over blood alcohol limit of 0.08g%. He was arrested for DWI, reckless operation and vehicular negligent injuring. This crash also remains under investigation, according to state police.


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