HAMMOND — A Hammond man has been arrested in a fatal hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist, State Police said Monday.
The crash occurred on La. 1064 near La. 443, north of the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport, about 10 p.m. Sunday and resulted in the death of 53-year-old Van Johnson, of Hammond, Trooper Nicholas Manale said Monday.
Johnson was riding his bicycle eastbound in the westbound lane of La. 1064, Manale said.
Behind him, Aerell Anderson, 19, of Hammond was traveling east in the eastbound lane and crossed the double yellow center line of the roadway in order to pass a slower vehicle, Manale said.
Upon entering the westbound lane, Anderson’s vehicle struck the rear of Johnson’s bicycle and knocked Johnson off the bike, Manale said. Anderson fled, continuing east on La. 1064, Manale said.
Johnson was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, and the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office pronounced him dead at the scene.
Troopers discovered Anderson’s vehicle abandoned near the crash scene and later found him attempting to turn himself in at the Amite Police Department, Manale said.
Anderson submitted to a breath alcohol test showing no detectable signs of alcohol in his system.
He was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on counts of negligent homicide, hit-and-run driving, passing in a no passing zone and no driver’s license, Manale said.
While numerous factors including driver impairment or distraction contribute to crashes, troopers often discover that traffic safety violations are the primary cause of the majority of motor vehicle crashes investigated each day, Manale said.
Bicyclists also are required to follow all traffic laws while riding on roadways and to ride in the correct direction with the flow of traffic, he said.
In addition, bicyclists should always be aware of their surroundings and make sure to cross intersections and streets only when it is safe to do so, he said.