A careening pickup truck driven by an 18-year-old Prairieville man smashed into an SUV waiting to exit a Prairieville parking lot Sunday, killing the 46-year-old driver and seriously injuring a passenger.
Tomas Hernandez-Lozano was stopped and waiting to pull out of The Flea Market of Louisiana on U.S. 61 about 11 a.m. Sunday when Jerry Mendez, who was headed south on U.S. 61, lost control of his Toyota pickup truck, ran off the right side of the road and smashed into the driver’s side of Hernandez-Lozano’s Chevrolet Tahoe, Trooper First Class Bryan Lee said.
The force of the collision flipped Hernandez-Lozano’s SUV, Lee said, while Mendez’s pickup continued rolling into an open field before finally coming to a stop.
Hernandez-Lozano, 46, of Baton Rouge, was fatally injured in the wreck and was pronounced dead at the scene, Lee said.
A passenger riding in Hernandez-Lozano’s vehicle, who was not identified by State Police on Sunday, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, Lee said.
State troopers investigating the wreck determined Mendez was impaired, Lee said, though he didn’t specify how troopers reached that conclusion.
Mendez was arrested on counts of vehicular homicide, negligent vehicular injuring, first-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle and driving without a license.
Toxicology samples from Mendez and Hernandez-Lozano were taken for analysis, Lee said.