A Lake Charles man was killed and a Lake Charles woman has been charged with vehicular homicidein and first-offense DWI after a accident on Gulf Highway near the Lake Charles Regional Airport, state police said.
The accident happened south of Burton Coliseum, site of tonight’s Josh Ledet concert.
"The preliminary investigation revealed that a motorcycle operated by 24-year-old Jerel Wayne Gutgsell was traveling north on La. 385 when a southbound car driven by 57-year-old Catherine Hodges made a left turn in front of the Gutgsell, causing the vehicles to collide," said Sgt. James Anderson. "Gutgsell was pronounced dead at the scene. Hodges, who was wearing a seat belt, was not injured."
Anderson said Hodges may have been impaired and has been charged with vehicular homicide, first-offense DUI and failure to yield while turning.
"Last year, Troop D investigated 18 fatal crashes resulting in 20 fatalities," Anderson said. "An impaired driver was responsible for half of the deaths in those crashes. Motorists should never get behind the wheel if they are impaired and should either stay where they are or call someone who is sober to pick them up."
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative aimed at getting motorists and motorcyclists to "share the road" with each other.
This is the fourth motorcyclist to die in a crash investigated by Troop D this year.