A man arrested after fleeing into a cane field in Erwinville following a fatal hit-and-run crash on Friday is believed to have been impaired and faces counts of fourth-offense DWI, vehicular homicide, felony hit-and-run, operating a vehicle without a required interlock device and failure to yield a stop sign, authorities said.
Nicholas Porche, 27, of Lakeland, was booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail in the crash that killed 53-year-old Michael Holmes, of Ventress, said Trooper 1st Class Bryan Lee, a spokesman for State Police.
The side-impact crash occurred about 5 a.m. on La. 620, also known as Section Road, and La. 983, also known as Bueche Road. Porche, in a white GMC Sierra traveling westbound on La. 620, ran a stop sign and was rammed by a red Ford F150 pickup truck driven by Holmes, who had the right of way, Lee said. Holmes was unable to avoid Porche’s vehicle, Lee said.
Porche was captured in a cane field about a half-mile from the crash after a pursuit involving a helicopter and K-9 units, Lee said. Porche refused treatment for minor injuries.
Holmes, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene by the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, Lee said. A toxicology sample was taken from Holmes, but impairment is not suspected in his case, Lee said.
According to Porche’s criminal record with the 18th Judicial District Court, which includes West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and Iberville parishes, he was first arrested for driving under the influence when he was 18 years old in August 2006.
Court records show Porche was placed in the district attorney’s pretrial diversion program following the arrest.
In August 2008, records indicate Porche was arrested again for driving under the influence while still underage in Pointe Coupee Parish.
He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to six months’ probation and 32 hours of community service, records state.
Lee said State Police found a third DWI arrest in Livingston Parish but had no further information about that incident Friday.