Woman, 42, fatally hit while trying to cross intersection

A Gretna woman died and six others were injured in a crash Friday morning at the intersection of La. 3235 and La. 657 in Lafourche Parish, a State Police spokesman said.

Carin Penida-Ruiz, 42, of Gretna, was driving a 2005 Nissan Frontier west on La. 657 around 11:30 a.m. and was trying to cross the La. 3235 intersection when the wreck occurred, Trooper Evan Harrell said in a news release.

Troy Griffin Jr., 22, of Golden Meadow, was driving a 2001 Chevrolet 2500 pickup north on La. 3235 as the Frontier was trying to cross the intersection, Harrell said.

Griffin’s truck hit Penida-Ruiz’s Frontier on the driver’s side, causing the Frontier to spin off the roadway and hit a utility pole, Harrell said.

The left rear passenger in the Frontier, Sandra Martinez-Montoya, of Gretna, was partially ejected during the crash, Harrell said. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Martinez-Montoya later died at a hospital, Harrell said.

Penida-Ruiz and four other passengers in the Frontier were taken to hospitals with moderate injuries, Harrell said.

Griffin, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, Harrell said.

Troopers were not sure if alcohol use was a factor in the crash, Harrell said. Blood samples were taken from both drivers for analysis at the State Police Crime Lab.

The crash remains under investigation, Harrell said.