Two Dead in Three-Vehicle Crash in St. John the Baptist Parish

Published 2:19 pm Sunday, March 26, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Laplace – On March 25, 2023 around 9:30 p.m., Troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop B began investigating a three-vehicle fatal crash on I-10 West, approximately 7 miles west of LA 3188 in Laplace. The crash claimed the lives of 18-year-old Seamus Cassidy of Arnaudville and 32-year-old Oger Ivan Mejia-Puentes of Honduras.  

The initial investigation revealed that 27-year-old Brandon Cedotal of Gonzales was driving west on I-10 in a 2005 Ford F-550 tow truck. For reasons still under investigation, Cedotal lost control of the tow truck before the vehicle became disabled in the median, partially in the left lane. Cassidy was driving a 1996 BMW 328 west on I-10 in the left lane when he approached the disabled tow truck. The BMW impacted the rear of the tow truck and traveled to the right before coming to rest on the right shoulder. Shortly after, Mejia-Puentes was driving a 2006 Ford F-150 west on I-10 in the left lane when he approached the location and also impacted the rear of the tow truck.

Cassidy and Mejia-Puentes, who were both restrained at the time of the crash, suffered fatal injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene. Cedotal was not injured in the series of crashes. Impairment is unknown, blood samples were obtained from all drivers and will be submitted for scientific analysis as a part of the ongoing investigation. Any criminal or traffic violations discovered in the ongoing investigation will be forwarded to the St. John the Baptist Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Troopers wish to remind motorists to always make good decisions while in a motor vehicle. Never drive impaired, fatigued or distracted, follow all traffic laws and always ensure every occupant is properly restrained. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.