Airline wreck kills two

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2012

By robin shannon


LAPLACE – Two people were killed and three others were injured in an early morning car crash on Airline Highway in LaPlace Saturday, according to State Police.

Rene Gonzales, 31, and Erubiel Solis, 23, both residents of Edinburg, Texas, died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Both men were passengers in a Ford F-150 pickup that collided with another pickup truck on Airline Highway near Walnut Street just before 7 a.m., said State Police Spokesman Evan Harrell.

According to the State Police investigation, the F-150, driven by Irvin Gonzales, 22, was traveling westbound on Airline Highway when he lost control of his vehicle and entered the eastbound lanes. The F-150 was then struck by a Ford F-250 driven by Allen Mitchell III, 35.

Renee Gonzales, a front seat passenger in the F-150, was transported to University Hospital in New Orleans, where he was pronounced dead. Solis, a rear passenger in the F-150, was pronounced dead on the scene by the St. John Coroner’s Office. Police said he was not wearing a seat belt.

Irvin Gonzales, another rear passenger in the F-150, and Mitchell were transported to University Hospital with moderate injuries. Mitchell was the only occupant of his truck at the time of the crash.

Harrell said investigators believe that speed and weather conditions may have been a factor in the accident.

He said troopers do not suspect alcohol involvement, but blood was taken from both drivers. Toxicology tests are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

Harrell said drivers who witness hazardous situations are urged to call *LSP *(577) and report that activity to the Louisiana State Police.