VACHERIE, La. -- Three people were killed Tuesday morning in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer truck near Vacherie, State Police said.
The victims were identified as Saul Montoya, 42, of Prairieville, and his two passengers, Lucio Hernandez-Gelindo, 45, Prairieville, and Horacio Cordero-Marquez, 34, of Baton Rouge. Chad Hebert, 45, of Chackbay, was seriously injured.
Shortly before 6 a.m., a 2006 Peterbilt tractor truck was being driven north by Damion Robinson, 43, Boutte, on La. 3127 near La. 3213 in St. John Parish, State Police Troop C said. For unknown reasons, the Peterbilt crossed the center line of La. 3127 and entered the southbound lane where it sideswiped a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado Hebert was driving, police said.
Montoya was driving a 2006 Honda CLX south behind the Silverado and attempted to avoid the crash by traveling onto the southbound shoulder but was struck head-on by the Peterbilt, police said. After the impact, the Peterbilt pushed the Honda more than 120 feet off the road before coming to rest in a canal.
The Honda occupants were pronounced dead on the scene by the St. John Coroner’s Office and Hebert was transported to University Hospital in New Orleans, police said. Robinson was not injured in the crash. All were wearing their seat belts except Cordero-Marquez.
Robinson submitted to a breath test and was cleared of any alcohol involvement. Routine toxicology tests are pending at the St. John Parish Coroner’s Office for Montoya. A blood sample could not be obtained from Hebert due to emergency surgery.
Robinson was arrested and booked into the St. John Parish Jail. This crash remains under investigation.