Hit and run leaves bicyclist dead, driver arrested

A man is in jail on charges of hit-and-run and vehicular homicide after a deadly pedestrian accident in a Louisiana town about an hour from Baton Rouge. The arrested driver of the car who struck and killed the victim has a history of drunk driving, and police are investigating to see whether he was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

The pedestrian who dies was actually riding his bicycle on an area road in the evening hours. While it is not clear where on the road he was riding, bicyclists generally have the right to travel in the roadway. The driver hit the bicyclist, and the bicyclist died at the scene of the accident. The driver did leave the scene of the accident, but authorities were able to identify him and catch with him a short distance from the scene.

The driver has a history of DWI charges and recently served 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to a repeat drunk driving offense. He has prior convictions or arrests dating from 2014, both related to driving while intoxicated. Police were able to use a search warrant to obtain a blood sample from the driver, and the results of the ensuing blood test are pending. The driver also had a suspended license at the time of the accident.

In this case, although the investigation continues, police suspect a driver had been operating his vehicle while intoxicated and then tried to avoid responsibility after an accident by fleeing. Drunk driving accidents are almost always preventable and are never excusable. In addition to criminal penalties, this driver also could have to pay compensation to the victim's family for striking him while he was bicycling in the road. This is especially true if the driver turns out to have been drunk at the time of the accident.

Source: KATC, "Man arrested in fatal hit-and-run in Rayne," July 24, 2017.

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