State Police say two people died in a crash on Interstate 10 in Metairie on Christmas Eve.
The accident happened near Causeway Boulevard at about 9 p.m., state police say.
Edwin Alexander Casasola Cortez, 32, of New Orleans and Hervin Eduardo Zamora-Oliva, 28, of Metairie both died in the crash.
Preliminary investigation revealed a 2009 Ford F-250, driven by Cortez, was traveling on the I-10 west collector road at Causeway Boulevard. For unknown reasons, the Ford F-250 abruptly veered to the right and sideswiped a 2007 Toyota Tacoma that was merging into the right lane of the collector road from Causeway Boulevard north.
Cortez then lost control of the vehicle, struck a concrete bridge support and overturned. Cortez and Oliva were wearing seat belts and were pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the Toyota and two passengers were properly restrained and not injured, state police said.
The driver of the Toyota voluntarily submitted to a breath test and no alcohol was found in his system. Impairment is unknown for Cortez and a toxicology analysis will be completed upon an autopsy.
Although the exact cause of the crash is still under investigation, Troopers urge motorists to avoid all distractions while driving. Distractions, such as cell phones, passengers, radios, etc., take a driver’s focus away from the road. When focus is taken away from the road, the serious injury and fatality crash rate rises. To learn more about the dangers of distracted driving please visit the government’s official distracted driving website, www.distraction.gov. Troopers remind motorists to make good decisions behind the wheel; buckle up each and every ride, drive sober, and place your full attention on the road and other motorists.