BY TOM STEELE | DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Two Texas men died early Friday after they tried to jump an open drawbridge in Louisiana, authorities say.
Louisiana State Police were called to the scene of the crash at the Black Bayou Bridge, south of Lake Charles in southwestern Louisiana, around 2 a.m.
Authorities said the men had been driving south on State Highway 384 in a red 2016 Chevrolet Cruze when they got to the pontoon bridge, which was closed to vehicles to allow a boat through.
A witness told police that a passenger got out of the car and lifted a gate arm, allowing the car onto the bridge.
After the driver let the passenger back into the car, he sped toward a ramp at the end of the bridge in an attempt to jump the opening, police said. The car went airborne but landed in the Intracoastal Waterway and sank.
Alejandro Cazares, 23, of McAllen and Roberto Alejandro Moreno, 32, of Edinburg were pronounced dead at the scene.
“That guardrail was down for a reason,” state Trooper Derek Senegal told KPLC-TV. “I’m not sure what they were thinking, and of course we can’t do what’s portrayed in the movies.”
Authorities obtained toxicology samples and are continuing to investigate.
KPLC reported that a man wanted on drug and firearm charges attempted to jump the same bridge in 2016. Morgan Lyons survived that attempt after his truck landed on a pontoon.