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On August 5, 2023, shortly after 7:00 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop C began investigating a two-vehicle fatality crash on Louisiana Highway 308 near East 104th Street. The crash claimed the life of 46-year-old Junior Benavidez-Mendoza of Galliano.
The preliminary investigation revealed a 2005 Ford F-150, driven by 32-year-old Javier Raygoza-Nava of Cut Off, was traveling south on LA Hwy 308. Raygoza-Nava began to pass a southbound 2003 Ford Expedition, driven by Benavidez-Mendoza, in a marked no passing zone. The F-150 then traveled off the roadway to the left while passing the Expedition. Raygoza-Nava tried to return to the roadway by steering to the right but collided with the Expedition causing both vehicles to travel off the roadway to the right, enter Bayou Lafourche, and overturn.
Benavidez-Mendoza, who was properly restrained, was transported to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries. Raygoza-Nava was also properly restrained and sustained no injuries.
Troopers detected signs of impairment in Raygoza-Nava. He voluntarily submitted to a breath sample which revealed a blood alcohol concentration nearly two times over the legal limit. Raygoza-Nava was booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex on the charges of vehicular homicide, DWI 1st offense, passing in a no passing zone, and no driver’s license. A standard toxicology sample was also collected from Benavidez-Mendoza and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Driving while impaired poses significant dangers to both the driver and others on the road. Impairment from substances like alcohol and drugs can slow reaction times, impair decision-making, and decrease overall cognitive function, increasing the risk of crashes. Such impaired driving can result in serious injuries, fatalities, legal consequences, and a lasting emotional toll on victims and their families.
Troop C has investigated 16 fatal crashes resulting in 18 fatalities in 2023.