Cade – On May 1, 2023, shortly before 8:30 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop I was notified of a two-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 182 at the intersection of Louisiana Highway 92-1 in St. Martin Parish. On May 11, 2023, the St. Martin Parish Coroner’s Office notified Louisiana State Police that 57-year-old John Leblanc of New Iberia had succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the crash.
The initial investigation revealed a 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, being driven by LeBlanc, was traveling west on LA 182. At the same time a westbound 2016 Freightliner 18-wheeler, driven by Cory Samuels of Abbeville, was making a wide right turn from LA 182 onto LA 92-1. As the Harley-Davidson attempted to pass the 18-wheeler, Samuels turned into the path of the motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the right side of the 18-wheeler in the westbound lane of LA 182.
LeBlanc, who was wearing a DOT approved helmet, was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. Samuels was properly restrained, reported no injuries, and showed no signs of impairment. This crash is under investigation and charges are pending.
While all turning vehicles must do so when safe, passing a large vehicle making a wide right turn, which is usually an 18-wheeler, can be dangerous and deadly. To avoid these crashes, always stay a safe distance behind these vehicles and wait until they have completed their turn before proceeding. Remember, if you cannot see the 18-wheeler driver in their side-view mirrors, they cannot see you.
Troop I has investigated 21 fatal crashes resulting in 23 deaths in 2023.