A Texas driver and his passenger died Friday after the driver tried to jump an open Louisiana drawbridge but fell short — crashing into the water and sinking the vehicle, state troopers said.
Troopers identified the men killed in the crash as Alejandro Cazares, 23, of McAllen, and Roberto Alejandro Moreno, 32, of Edinburg, Texas.
The one-car crash on Black Bayou Bridge was reported just after 2 a.m. on Louisiana Highway 384, roughly six miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana State Police said in a news release.
The man had been driving his 2016 Chevrolet Cruze south on the road in the early morning hours when he came upon the pontoon bridge, which was blocked off because a boat was passing on the Intracoastal Waterway, troopers said. But the passenger got out of the Chevy, according to a witness, and pushed up the gate arm so the pair could pass onto the bridge, troopers said.
The man at the wheel then drove beneath the gate, let his passenger get back in the car and drove toward the ramp on the end of the bridge, according to state troopers.
“After stopping briefly, the driver placed the vehicle in reverse then accelerated forward in an attempt to ‘jump’ the ramp of the bridge,” troopers said. “The vehicle became airborne, landed in the waterway, and sank to the bottom.”
The Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office pronounced both men dead at the crash site, troopers said.
The passenger was found outside the sunken car, but the driver didn’t manage to get out of the car, state police said. U.S. Coast Guard officers and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division executed the recovery effort.
The crash investigation is ongoing, and toxicology samples “were obtained and will be submitted for analysis,” state police said.
It’s not the first failed jump on Black Bayou Bridge: In 2016, a man trying to run from police made an attempt to jump the same bridge, KPLC reported. He survived the failed attempt and was arrested.