Romanian immigrant booked on DWI after crash

A Romanian immigrant who allegedly was driving drunk and passing vehicles in Scott when he hit another car Sunday, a crash that trapped the driver of the other vehicle before emergency workers could free him, officials said.

Officers booked Popa Ionel, 47, on several counts, including operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, Scott Police Chief Chad Leger said.

Ionel was driving west on Eraste Landry Road and “passing numerous vehicles in the (center) turn lane” when he tried to turn right onto Westgate Road and hit another vehicle, Leger said in a news release.

The crash trapped the driver of the other car before rescue workers freed the person, Leger said. Leger did not release the name or gender of the other driver, who was later treated and released from a hospital.

“Officers spoke with Mr. Ionel, who was a Romanian immigrant with no travel paperwork or personal identifying information of any kind …,” Leger said. Leger said the suspect, who spoke “broken English” and showed signs of being impaired, took a field sobriety test and failed.

Besides being arrested on one count of driving while intoxicated, Ionel was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center at 6:35 p.m. Sunday on one count each of reckless operation, open container in a vehicle, driving without a license and failure to register a vehicle.