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Three arrested in drunk-driving crash that killed 14-year-old

2 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Monday, February 28 2022 Feb 28, 2022 February 28, 2022 3:59 PM February 28, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

SORRENTO - Three people are facing charges, including an alleged drunk driver, after a Baton Rouge teen was thrown from a crash and struck by oncoming traffic on I-10.

Louisiana State Police said a truck carrying three passengers, driven by 24-year-old Emmanuel Ruiz, was traveling in the right lane of I-10 near LA 22 in Sorrento around 4 a.m..

At the same time, troopers said another car carrying five passengers was trying to merge into the right lane of I-10 after briefly pulling onto the shoulder of the interstate. Ruiz's vehicle struck the car from behind, causing the vehicle to flip and knocking it off the roadway.

One of the passengers inside the car, 14-year-old Zashawn Dawson, was thrown from the vehicle during the wreck and landed in the left lane of I-10 where he was struck by an oncoming car. 

Ruiz was arrested and booked for vehicular homicide, eight counts of vehicular negligent injuring, obstruction of justice, first-offense DWI and no driver's license.

Troopers noted that one of Ruiz's passengers, 22-year-old Tyler Melancon, initially claimed he was driving the truck during the accident. Melancon was booked on one count of obstruction of justice.

Police also found a stolen gun after the crash and booked 18-year-old Cartara Johnson—one of the passengers inside the car—was booked on a charge of illegal possession of stolen firearms.

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