A witness to tragedy is now speaking out about the fiery crash that claimed the lives of a young couple early Wednesday morning, May 14. A man who lives near the crash site says there could be more to the story than has been told so far.
It happened at the intersection of Robinson Place and Creswell Avenue in Shreveport. Police say 19-year-old Megan Rogers and 20-year-old Blake Fritz died after their Chevrolet pick-up truck left the road, hit a large tree and went up in flames.
Police have said speed was a likely factor in the crash. But many have asked why Fritz may have been driving so fast, and that's where Paul Leslie comes in to the story.
"We were jarred out of bed by this tremendous engine sound," recalled Paul Leslie. He lives in the 700 block of Robinson Place, not far from the crash site.
He won't soon forget what he heard after that loud engine sound, that initially woke him up. "A few seconds after that we heard a big thump, not a metal on metal, but a pretty big thump and I said, 'You know, boy, he's hit something."
That something was Fritz's pickup truck hitting a tree. Leslie and his wife rushed outside and saw Fritz's pickup on fire. "And I've learned later from his grandfather that he was a water skiing aficionado and he carried gasoline in the back of the pickup truck, and that caused a big conflagration," continued Leslie.
But it's what happened after the crash that's stayed in Leslie's mind ever since. "These two big pickups come down and the boy who called 911 told me they stopped there and they took a picture of the burning truck."
Leslie said that boy described the trucks as two Chevy Z-71's with lift kits, one black and the other one red.
Leslie says he saw those two pickup trucks come down Robinson Place, stop in the middle of the road and the drivers talk for 30 seconds before leaving. He can't shake the feeling those trucks may have had something to do with the fiery crash. "I think that somebody was chasing this Blake Fritz. And he got really scared enough to take the risk that he took."
Police say based on evidence at the scene, Fritz's truck had to be traveling at least 50-miles an hour, twice the posted speed limit, at the time of the crash. "He (Fritz) takes the only daylight he's got and that's to go off to the left and up the sidewalk. And the sidewalk was so rough it caused him to lose control of the vehicle," concluded Leslie.
In a phone conversation with Paul Leslie Saturday afternoon, he told KSLA News 12 that he has not spoken to police about what he heard and saw yet, but says he is willing to do so.
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