All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

UNION PARISH (KTVE/KARD) — On Sunday, August 6, 2023, at 1 AM, a deputy of the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office observed a pickup truck disregarding a stop sign and crossing state Highway 2, near Antioch. The vehicle then traveled into a gravel parking lot and did a “donut” maneuver before again entering Highway 2 and continuing east.

As the deputy caught up to the vehicle, it turned south on Highway 143 at Crossroads. According to authorities, two firefighters from Rocky Branch/Crossroads Fire District had just arrived on the scene of a large fallen tree in the roadway, blocking the entire road, just north of Bobcat Trail.

The firefighters were standing under the tree, operating chainsaws when the truck slammed into the tree. According to officials, neither firefighter was struck or injured.

The deputy immediately ordered the driver of the vehicle, 24-year-old Carlos Mata of Sealy, Texas, to exit the vehicle and he complied. As Meta was exiting the vehicle, authorities observed him to be disoriented and showing signs of impairment, and he allegedly refused to perform field sobriety tests.

Authorities then searched Mata’s vehicle and located open beer and liquor bottles that were cold to the touch. When asked why Mata disregarded the stop sign near Antioch, he allegedly stated that he forgot there was an intersection there.

Once at the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, Mata allegedly refused to submit a breath sample for the Intoxillizer. Mata was charged with Third Offense DWI, Operating a Vehicle while under Suspension for Certain Prior Offenses, Ignition Interlock Device Required, Open Container, No Proof of Insurance, Reckless Operation, and Expired Vehicle Registration.

Mata’s bond was set at $92,500 by a Third District Judge.