Thibodaux – On May 12, 2022, shortly after 5:00 am, Louisiana State Police Troop C was notified of a fatal crash involving a bicyclist on Louisiana Highway 308 about a mile south of Louisiana Highway 648. The crash claimed the life of 57-year-old Jerome Cooter of Thibodaux.
The preliminary investigation revealed Cooter was riding a bicycle north on LA Hwy 308 with no rear lighting. At the same time, a 2022 Hyundai Accent was also traveling north on LA Hwy 308 approaching the rear of the bicycle. The driver of the Hyundai attempted to avoid a crash by swerving to the left, but struck Cooter causing him to be ejected from the bicycle. Cooter was subsequently struck by a 2007 Ford F-150 and a 2009 Toyota Tacoma that were also traveling north.
Cooter was not wearing a safety helmet at the time of the crash, suffered fatal injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The drivers of the remaining vehicles were properly restrained and suffered no injuries.
A toxicology sample was collected from Cooter and will be submitted for analysis. The driver of the Hyundai was not suspected of being impaired and provided a voluntary breath sample that showed no alcohol detected. This crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana law requires bicyclists to remain as close to the right side of the roadway as practicable, be equipped with a head lamp and tail lamp when riding in low light conditions, and obey all traffic laws. Additional precautions such as wearing reflective materials and avoiding distractions can prevent crashes and avoid injuries.
Troop C has investigated 16 fatal crashes resulting in 17 deaths in 2022.