On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, about 6:40 p.m., Provencal Police, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #4, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS and Life Air responded to reports of a hit & run injury crash on LA HWY 117 near Vernon Wester Road within the city limits of Provencal, LA.
It is reported that the preliminary investigation revealed a 2008 Toyota Tundra pickup truck operated by 32-year-old Luis Fernando-Hernadez Salas of Shreveport, LA was traveling northbound on LA HWY 117 at a high rate of speed when he crashed into the rear of a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup operated by 30-year-old Ismael Guzman of Forest Hill, LA.
The Chevrolet crossed into the southbound lane, struck a bridge guardrail which caused the vehicle to go airborne. The truck then traveled through a ditch going airborne again and finally striking a tree causing the vehicle to overturn and come to a rest on its top.
The 2008 Toyota Tundra failed to stop and continued northbound on LA HWY 117. The Tundra left the roadway on the left side struck several mailboxes then continued on striking a tree coming to rest. Salas fled from the vehicle running through yards into a wood thicket pursued by private citizens and responding deputies. A short while later, he was taken into custody by deputies with the assistance of area citizens.
Guzman was extricated from the vehicle by Natchitoches Parish Fire District #4, and transported by EMS to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Salas was transported by deputies to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, treated and released for minor injuries. Salas was then transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, where he was administered the Intoxilyzer 9000 Test, processed, booked, and charged with Vehicular Homicide, DWI, Hit & Run, Resisting an Officer, Criminal Damage to Property, Open Container, No Drivers License, and Following to Close.
Impairment is believed to be a factor in the crash. Toxicology samples will be submitted to the LA State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
Salas remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center without bond.
Sheriff Jones said the Provencal Police assisted by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Louisiana State Police and the Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office returned to the scene on Thursday, August 8, 2019, to investigate and survey the scene for additional evidence based on additional information received by the NPSO, and Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office related to possible criminal wrongdoing.
On Friday, August 9, 2019, deputies will be taking drone footage of the accident scene. Drivers in the area are asked to please drive carefully, and pay attention to the roadway.