State Police: Unrestrained 9-year-old ejected in Highland Road car crash, dies at scene _lowres

Provided photo -- Two vehicles collided at the intersection Highland and Pecue on Saturday morning. One passenger was fatally injured and two were transported by emergency medical personel.

A 9-year-old boy is dead after he was ejected from a pickup truck in a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning on Highland Road near Pecue Lane.

According to a news release by the State Police, the crash took the life of Fernando Menendez, of Baton Rouge, about 11 a.m. and left two men in the hospital.

An initial investigation revealed that 32-year-old Elmer Menendez, of Baton Rouge, was driving a 1992 Mazda B2200 pickup eastbound on Highland Road when 46-year-old Ron Adams, also of Baton Rouge, approached in the westbound lane in a 2001 GMC Yukon, the release says.

For unknown reasons, Elmer Menendez lost control of his truck, and the pickup began rotating counterclockwise. The pickup crossed the center line, and Adams’ Yukon struck the pickup on the right side, according to the release.

Fernando and Elmer Menendez both were not buckled in, and both were ejected from the pickup, the release says.

Fernando suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, and Elmer Menendez was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, the release says.

State Police spokesman Trooper 1st Class Bryan Lee could not confirm the relationship between Fernando and Elmer Menendez.

Adams was restrained and received moderate injuries.

Investigators do not suspect that impairment was a factor, but toxicology samples were taken from both drivers for analysis. Lee said the wreck was unrelated to the weather and that the crash remains under investigation.

After Elmer Menendez is released from the hospital, he will be booked into Parish Prison on one count each of negligent injuring, careless operation, no seat belt and no child restraint, the release says.