Texas men die after attempting to 'jump' open drawbridge in Calcasieu Parish

CALCASIEU PARISH, La. (Louisiana State Police) - Two Texas men were killed in a single-vehicle crash on Friday, on LA Hwy 384 (Big Lake Road) at the Black Bayou Bridge about 6 miles south of Lake Charles.

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State police report that the driver was traveling south on LA Hwy 384 in a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze when he came to a pontoon bridge that was closed to vehicular traffic to allow a boat to pass on the Intracoastal Waterway.

According to a witness, the passenger exited the vehicle and pushed the gate arm up. The driver drove under the gate and picked up the passenger before proceeding towards the ramp at the end of the bridge. After stopping briefly, the driver placed the vehicle in reverse then accelerated forward in an attempt to “jump” the ramp of the bridge.

The vehicle became airborne, landed in the waterway, and sank to the bottom. The driver was unable to exit the vehicle and the passenger was located outside of the submerged vehicle. Both were pronounced dead at the scene by the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office.

Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis. The identity of the deceased will be released after notification of next of kin. The crash remains under investigation.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division and the U.S. Coast Guard performed search and recovery. Troop D has investigated 13 fatal crashes resulting in 16 deaths in 2019.

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