Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty

LAPLACE, La. (WGNO) — A man from Texas is behind bars after a crash in St. John the Baptist Parish. According to Louisiana State Police, they began investigating a deadly crash involving an impaired driver on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 11.) Troopers report that 71-year-old Earl Eschete of Raceland was killed in the incident.

LSP says that the crash happened just after 5:00 p.m. on US 61. Detectives discovered that Eschete was driving a 2000 Ford F-150 south near Jackson Avenue at the same time another driver known as 23-year-old Gasper Orduna of Alvin, TX, was driving a 2019 Ford F-250 north. For reasons still under investigation, the F-250 crossed the center line, entered the southbound lane, and collided head-on with the F-150.

Due to the impact of the crash, Eschete suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Another passenger in the F-150 “suffered moderate injuries,” reported LSP, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Orduna and a passenger in his vehicle were uninjured.

Investigators determined that Orduna displayed signs of impairment and provided a breath sample which indicated a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit. Troopers arrested and booked him into the St. John Parish Jail for multiple charges including the following:

  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Vehicular Negligent Injuring
  • DWI (1st Offense)
  • Reckless Operation and Driving the wrong way on divided highways