Rapides Parish – Last night, a single vehicle crash killed a pedestrian from Jena, LA.
Troopers responded to the crash around 7:50 p.m., which occurred on US Hwy 71 near LA Hwy 3170. The crash involved a 2007 Chevrolet Impala, driven by James R. Sawtelle IV (W/M 18 yrs) of Alexandria, LA and a pedestrian, identified as Michael C. Duncan (W/M 53 yrs). The Chevrolet was northbound on US Hwy 71 when Duncan attempted to cross the roadway from east to west. This action resulted in the Chevrolet colliding with him, in the roadway.
Sawtelle IV was wearing his seat belt and was not injured.
Duncan was wearing dark clothing and was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center where he was later pronounced dead.
Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
When walking near a roadway always make yourself visible to drivers by wearing bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials. Pedestrians that are walking at night should try to carry a flashlight for added safety. A person should always walk on a sidewalk, but if there is not a sidewalk available, you should always walk on the shoulder or if no shoulder is available, as close to the roadway edge facing traffic.
Troop E Troopers have investigated three fatal crashes in 2018, resulting in three fatalities.