State Police: Motorcyclist killed by distracted driver

A man was killed Saturday when a distracted driver drove across the center line on La. 16 near O’Neal Lane in St. Helena Parish, striking him and another motorcycle rider head-on, a State Police spokesman said.

Master Trooper Greg Marchand said Jerry Worley III, 29, of Greensburg, was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Helena Parish Coroner’s Office. Worley was thrown from his 2006 Honda motorcycle when a car driven by Taylor Freeman, 19, of Pine, hit him head-on at 6:45 p.m., he said.

Freeman was headed west on La. 16 when her car crossed the center line, entered the eastbound lane and continued in the wrong lane until her car struck the two motorcycles, Marchand said.

Based on the preliminary details from the investigation, troopers suspect Freeman was going to turn onto O’Neal Lane and was either too distracted by a party that was happening on both sides of La. 16 or she was too concerned about the approaching turn to notice that she was in the wrong lane and the motorcycles were headed straight toward her, Marchand said.

The second rider, a 51-year-old Walker man, was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge with moderate injuries after he was thrown from his motorcycle, Marchand said.

Both motorcycle riders wore helmets at the time of the crash, Marchand said.

Toxicology samples were taken from each person for analysis at the State Crime Lab, but impairment is not suspected as the cause of the crash, Marchand said.

Freeman has not been arrested, but that could change pending the investigation and toxicology tests, Marchand said.