Female Bicyclist Struck, Killed in Pecan Island
PECAN ISLAND — On April 10, at approximately 9:40 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop I responded to a two-vehicle crash involving a bicycle on LA 82 west of LA 3147 in Vermilion Parish. The crash claimed the life of 34-year-old Michelle J. Hebert of Lafayette.
The preliminary investigation revealed Hebert was traveling east on a bicycle, approximately 4 feet from the solid white fog line in the eastbound lane of travel, when she was struck from behind by a 2012 GMC Acadia driven by 30 year old Racquelle Koch of Kaplan. At the time of the crash it was daylight.
Hebert was ejected from the bicycle and was not wearing a helmet. Hebert sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Vermilion Parish Coroner’s Office. Koch was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.
Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in the crash, however; routine toxicology samples were obtained from Hebert and submitted to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Koch voluntarily submitted to a chemical test and was not impaired.
Koch was cited for Limitations on Passing a Bicycle. The crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana state law requires every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.
While the cause of this crash remains under investigation, distracted and inattentive driving continue to be leading causes of crashes in our state. Information on distracted driving may be found online at www.distrtaction.gov.