Cyclist killed in hit and run crash in Tangipahoa, driver abandoned car
POSTED: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 12:15pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 12:19pm
TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA — Yesterday evening shortly after 10:00 pm, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a fatal hit and run crash involving a bicyclist. The crash occurred on LA 1064 near the intersection with LA 443 and took the life of Van Johnson, 53, of Hammond, LA.
Troopers’ investigation revealed that the crash occurred as Johnson was riding his bicycle eastbound in the westbound lane of LA 1064. Traveling eastbound behind Johnson was a 1998 Oldsmobile Achieva driven by Aerell Anderson, 19, of Hammond, LA. While continuing eastbound on LA 1064, Anderson attempted to pass a slower vehicle and crossed the double yellow center line of the roadway traveling eastbound in the westbound lane. Upon entering the westbound lane, the front end of the Oldsmobile impacted the rear of Johnson’s bicycle ejecting Johnson from the bike. After impact, Anderson fled the scene continuing east on LA 1064.
Johnson was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office.
While conducting the hit and run investigation, Troopers discovered the Oldsmobile abandoned near the crash scene and shortly thereafter located Anderson attempting to turn himself in at the Amite Police Department. Anderson submitted to a breath alcohol test showing no detectable signs of alcohol in his system. He was subsequently booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on charges of Negligent Homicide, Hit and Run Driving, Passing in a No Passing Zone, and No Driver’s License.
Troopers urge motorists to remember fundamental traffic safety laws such as improper passing or following too closely that when followed can help prevent motor vehicle crashes. While numerous factors including driver impairment and/or distraction often contribute to crashes, troopers often discover that simple traffic safety violations are the primary cause of the majority of motor vehicle crashes investigated each day.
In addition, bicyclists should always be aware of their surroundings and make sure to cross intersections and streets only when it is safe to do so. Bicyclists are required to follow all traffic laws while riding on roadways and ride in the correct direction with the flow of traffic.
The task of making our roadways safer requires a joint effort between law enforcement and the public through responsible behavior behind the wheel and the reporting of dangerous drivers to authorities. Motorists are urged to dial *LSP (*577) from a cellular phone to report possibly impaired, distracted, or dangerous drivers or other hazardous roadway conditions to the nearest Louisiana State Police office.