On Sunday, November 29, 2020, shortly before 5:00 pm, Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a single vehicle fatal crash on LA 442 east of LA 1065 in Tangipahoa Parish. The crash took the life of 10-year-old Salvador Arjon Jr. of Loranger.
The initial investigation revealed that a 2002 Dodge Caravan, driven by 35-year-old Maria Bernales, was eastbound on LA 442 when it exited the roadway. The vehicle entered a drainage ditch and overturned multiple times. Arjon was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office. Arjon was one of four unrestrained juveniles inside the vehicle when the vehicle crash occurred. The other three juveniles sustained minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital.
Impairment is not suspected to be a causal factor in the crash. As part of the ongoing investigation, a blood sample was taken from Bernales for scientific analysis. Charges will be forwarded to the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney’s Office once the investigation is completed.
Troopers wish to remind everyone that children depend on adults to ensure they are properly restrained in an age and weight appropriate seat. For more information on child restraint laws and best practices please visit the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission website. While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can often mean the difference between life and death.