Teens lead police on “reckless” chase that ends in fiery crash, 16-year-old killed

POINTE COUPEE — A teenager from New Orleans lost his life in an early morning crash that originated in Iberville Parish and culminated in a fiery collision in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Louisiana State Police troopers reported that Michael Saavedra-Fernandez, 16, of New Orleans, died after crashing into a ditch while attempting to evade Iberville Sheriff’s deputies.

The incident occurred around 3:30 a.m. on December 27, 2023, when Iberville Sheriff’s deputies tried to stop Saavedra-Fernandez, who was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Suburban “recklessly” on I-10 West in Iberville Parish. According to a news release, LSP stated that deputies attempted to halt the Suburban, but “Saavedra-Fernandez continued driving recklessly at a high rate of speed through multiple parishes.”

As Saavedra-Fernandez reached Hwy. 411 and Jack Torres Rd., he veered off the roadway, with the SUV entering a ditch before colliding with a tree and subsequently catching fire, troopers said.

Saavedra-Fernandez, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene. His teenage passenger, who was wearing a seatbelt, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a hospital.

Although the crash occurred in Pointe Coupee Parish, Iberville requested LSP to take charge of the investigation, given their attempt to initiate the traffic stop.

“Speeding, impairment, and lack of seatbelt use continue to be the leading causes of fatal crashes,” emphasized LSP in a news release. They stress, especially during the holidays, the importance of buckling up and refraining from impaired or speedy driving.

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