Louisiana State Police Troop B are investigating a crash that took two lives and critically injured two other people early Sunday.
The accident happened on US 61 north at N. Atlanta Street. German Mejia, 24 and Michael Medrano, 22 both of Kenner, died in the accident.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Mejia was driving a 2008 Honda Civic north on US 61 and, for reasons still under investigation, veered onto the right shoulder and struck the back of a 2012 International 18-wheeler that was illegally parked on the shoulder.
The truck was unoccupied at the time of the crash.
Mejia and Medrano (the right rear passenger) were pronounced dead on the scene. The front seat passenger, a 22-year-old Kenner man, and the left rear passenger, a 15-year-old juvenile, were transported to University Medical Center with critical injuries.
Mejia was the sole occupant wearing a seat belt and impairment is suspected. A toxicology test will be performed during the autopsy. Mejia was also an unlicensed driver. The person responsible for the 18-wheeler was cited for Illegal Parking. This crash remains under investigation.
Troopers say: “Whether impaired through alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, the consequences of driving while impaired remain the same. The task of stopping impaired drivers is a joint effort of law enforcement agencies and the public. By never allowing an impaired driver to get behind the wheel and reporting dangerous drivers to law enforcement, the public can play an important role in the reduction of crashes caused by impaired drivers. Making poor decisions in a vehicle such as driving impaired, driving while distracted, or not wearing a seat belt leads to serious injuries and deaths every day across the state. Making the responsible decision can mean the difference between life and death.”