Iberia Parish– At approximately 8:50 p.m. on April 2, 2020, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a fatality crash involving a pedestrian on the La Hwy 14 near Leleux Road in Iberia Parish. The crash took the life of 27-year-old Tarvis Coates of New Iberia.
The preliminary investigation revealed the crash occurred as Coates was walking in the westbound inside lane of La Hwy 14. At the same time, 24-year-old Brittni Hernadez of New Iberia was driving westbound on La Hwy 14 in a 2011 Ford Fusion. As Coates was walking in the westbound lane of travel, he was struck by the Fusion.
Coates was pronounced deceased on scene by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office. Impairment is not suspected, but standard toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis from, both, Hernadez and Coates. Hernadez was properly restrained and was uninjured. This crash remains under investigation.
Troopers urge pedestrians to maintain a heightened level of awareness while walking near or on roadways. Pedestrians must assume that approaching motorists cannot see them, especially at night. Louisiana law states, under Revised Statute 32: 216. B. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the highway or its shoulder, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. Furthermore, Troopers want to remind motorists that making good choices such as never driving while impaired and avoiding all distractions can often help prevent many pedestrian related crashes.
Troop I has investigated 9 fatal crashes resulting in 11 deaths in 2020.