EXCLUSIVE! Friends claim car really was on fire
BATON ROUGE - Friends claim it was no prank that made a man jump off the I-10 overpass at Siegen Lane early Friday morning.
State Troopers responded to the scene and found an 18-year-old severely hurt after falling more than 30 feet.
Troopers said the man who jumped had been asleep in the car while he and two others drove to Baton Rouge from New Orleans. When the car broke down, investigators said the two others started screaming the car was on fire as a joke.
But, the driver of the car, Thomas Poche, responded Monday by saying it was no prank at all.
"It was a real fire. It was not no prank," Poche told WBRZ News 2 in an exclusive interview.
"Stop saying stuff that ain't true. That's all I can say," Tyrone Tim said, who was also in the car when the incident happened.
The man who jumped over the overpass is still recovering at Baton Rouge General from a broken thigh bone and knee surgery, according to Tim and Poche.
"i'm sorry that happened to him. I can't say no more than that," Tim said.
A tow company brought the car to Tim's home. It has a piston popped out, wires scorched and parts burned to a crisp.
Tim and Poche said they told police the same story as they told News 2.
"We gave you guys the correct information when you came out there state trooper," Poche said in a message to troopers via the TV interview.
State Police are still investigating the incident as a prank but are looking into the situation further.