LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Louisiana State Police say two men from Texas died attempting to jump the ramp on the Black Bayou Bridge early Friday morning.
Alejandro Cazares, 23, of McAllen, Texas, and Roberto Alejandro Moreno, 32, of Edinburg, Texas, were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Trooper Derek Senegal, spokesperson for Troop D, said the men were traveling south on La. 384 (Big Lake Road) in a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, when they came to a pontoon bridge that was closed to vehicle traffic to allow a boat to pass on the Intracoastal Waterway. The bridge has a pontoon section that swings out to allow ships to pass and a ramp on each side that lifts up.
A witness told state police that Moreno, the passenger, got out of the vehicle and pushed the gate arm up, allowing Cazarez to drive under the arm and pick up the passenger.
Cazares proceeded toward the ramp at the end of the bridge, stopped briefly, placed the vehicle in reverse, then accelerated forward in an attempt to jump the waterway and land on the other side of the bridge.
The vehicle landed in the water and sank to the bottom of the waterway.
The driver was unable to get out of the vehicle and the passenger’s body was found outside the submerged vehicle.
State Police say toxicology samples have been obtained and will be submitted for analysis.
In 2016, a man attempted to jump the bridge during a police chase.