Two Denham Springs men died late Wednesday in Iberville Parish after the pickup they were traveling in left La. 1148, hit a tree and caught on fire, State Police announced.

The driver, 53-year-old Charles K. Pope, and his 52-year-old passenger, Maurice A. Cormier, both died at the scene.

The initial investigation, which began shortly before 9:15 p.m., determined the men were traveling westbound when, for unknown reasons, the 2004 Ford left the roadway to the right west of La. 1. After hitting the tree, the pickup re-entered the highway and ignited.

The driver was properly restrained, but his passenger was not wearing a seat belt, Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer said.

A toxicology sample was taken from the driver and submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.