Lafayette police officer killed in Iberville motorcycle crash

A 23-year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department died Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle crash on La. 3000 north of Interstate 10 in Iberville Parish, a State Police spokesman said.

Lt. Richard “Ricky” Rees, who was off duty at the time of the wreck, served as the administrative lieutenant in the department’s Precinct 4, Trooper 1st Class Stephen Hammons said in a news release.

“The sudden and unexpected death of Lieutenant Richard Rees has left all of us in a state of shock,” Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said in the release. “Our Lafayette Police family has lost one of its finest members. Lieutenant Rees was well known in the community and was dedicated to the safety and security of our citizens. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time of sadness.”

Rees was driving a 2013 Harley-Davidson north on La. 3000 around 2 p.m. when he entered a sharp right curve and, for reasons unknown, traveled off the road into a ditch, Hammons said.

Rees and his passenger, 34-year-old Bridget Benoit, of Scott, were ejected from the vehicle, Hammons said.

Rees was pronounced dead at the scene by the Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office, Hammons said. Benoit was taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.

Troopers do not suspect Rees was impaired but collected routine toxicology samples for State Police Crime Lab analysis, Hammons said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Rees is survived by his two children, Hammons said.

“Earlier today, I spoke to Chief Craft to express my condolences,” State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said in the release. “I let him know that our partners at the Lafayette Police Department and the Rees family are in the thoughts of the entire State Police family.”