By Diana Samuels | NOLA.com
Dolce Vita, the Baton Rouge wood-fired pizza truck that is a mainstay of downtown lunches and local food truck events, is out of commission after being hit by a suspected drunk driver in Gonzales on Tuesday.
Chef and owner Bogdan Mocanu said his truck is damaged beyond repair. It was the second accident he’d been within a month and a half: He was ramping his business back up after another accident on March 30.
“I was on top of my game right now, recovering and all that, starting dinner service every night, and then to have this happen,” he said. ‘It’s just one after another. It’s a lot to deal with in 45 days.”
Mocanu posted photos of his wrecked truck on Facebookafter the accident, showing the truck’s side smashed in, a mangled wheel, and the inside in shambles.
“Drunk driver just ran into us,” he wrote on Facebook. “The trailer is destroyed… Don’t know when I will be back just glad I survived another one and I can hug my fam tonight.”
Gonzales Police Sgt. Steven Nethken said that Latisha Dominique, a 36-year-old Gonzales resident, was arrested in connection with the accident, which took place at about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday. Dominique was making a left turn off of S. Sanctuary Avenue onto East Worthey Street and hit Mocanu’s truck as well as another vehicle behind him, Nethken said.
Dominique was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. She had a blood alcohol level of 0.176 two hours after the accident, Nethken said. Police are awaiting blood test results to determine whether she was also on drugs.
Mocanu said he’s not sure if he wants to replace the truck, which he’s had for about a year and two months.
“Now I’m thinking I’m going to open a brick-and-mortar,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it. Maybe this is going to speed up our plans a little bit.”
If he does open a brick-and-mortar restaurant, Mocanu said it will be an open-concept plan that allows him to maintain one of his favorite parts of his job: interacting with customers.
“I need to see how I can get back into business as soon as possible,” he said. “I need to be back. I need to cook.”