Man falls to his death trying to escape vehicle after car accident

Pierre Moise Patin

A Lake Charles man attempting to escape his vehicle after an auto accident fell off of the Neches River/Purple Heart Bridge to his death on Dec. 5, reports the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

According to a news release from OCSO, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a call concerning a motor vehicle crash in the westbound lane on the Neches River Bridge on Interstate 10 in Orange County on Saturday, Dec. 5, at approximately 5:15 a.m. Officers investigating the crash determined that a green Geo Metro had stalled on the bridge in the outside lane of travel.  A blue Toyota work van traveling westbound slowed to avoid striking the Geo Metro. While the van was stopped behind the Geo Metro, a white Chevrolet struck the Toyota from the rear.  

Both occupants in the Toyota van decided to exit the vehicle, OCSO reports, worrying it would be struck again due to the traffic conditions. The passenger of the Toyota van climbed out of the vehicle, climbed over the bridge railing and jumped to the adjacent bridge structure only a few feet away. The driver of the Chevrolet also jumped over the railing to the adjacent bridge for safety. When the driver of the Toyota van attempted to jump over the gap in the bridges, he was not successful and fell forty to fifty feet onto the ground below. 

Beaumont Fire-Rescue and Beaumont EMS responded to the scene. The Toyota driver, 52-year-old Pierre Moise Patin of Lake Charles died as result of injuries sustained in the fall. Orange County Justice of the Peace David Peck pronounced Patin deceased at the scene. 

Shavers Transport Company responded to the scene and transported the victim to Vidor Memorial Funeral Home until funeral arrangements were made. 

The incident is still under investigation, reports OCSO.