Driver arrested after fleeing deadly crash where vehicle smashed through home
BATON ROUGE - Police arrested the man they say was behind the wheel of a sports car when the vehicle caused a chain-reaction crash of another vehicle into a group home, killing an occupant this weekend.
Jermaine Applewhite, 23, was arrested Tuesday.
The crash occurred Saturday morning in the 3400 block of Victoria Drive near Winbourne Ave.
Police said the driver, later identified as Applewhite, was driving at least 80 miles per hour when he lost control of a 2008 Infinity G-35. The car smashed through a fence before running into a parked SUV, pushing it into the home. The impact killed 69-year-old Jaime Pineda while he was asleep in his bed.
The owner of the home, Irma Myers said, "When I heard the crash, we jumped up ran all over the house, to see what was that crash and came to this room and saw all of this," referencing the wreckage.
Applewhite ran from the crash scene after the incident, police said.
The Infiniti was reported stolen shortly after the incident by Applewhite's girlfriend. Initially, Applewhite gave several statements that the car was stolen and he was not operating the vehicle at the time of the crash. Police say he later admitted that he was driving but was frightened after he fled the scene. Applewhite was unaware that someone was killed as a result of the crash until seeing news reports.
Applewhite was booked into jail on hit and run, negligent homicide, reckless operation and criminal damage to property charges along with a license violation.
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