Weekend marred by two fatalities

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2004

By LEONARD GRAY – Managing Editor

RESERVE – A woman stepped into the path of a passing Dodge truck on Airline Highway Sautrday night and was struck and killed, Louisiana State Police reported.

Trooper First Class Alan Rickmeier reported that at about 8:58 p.m., Bertha M. Vickers, 51, of Reserve, stepped into the path of a 1985 Dodge Ram Charger, traveling southbound on Airline near East 22nd Street.

Vickers was struck by the Dodge and knocked into the path of a 2000 Chevrolet Geo Prism in the inside southbound lane and possibly one other vehicle.

The driver of the Dodge, Donnie P. Scioneaux, of 115 W. 17th St., Reserve, and the driver of the Chevrolet, Otis Nelson,of 1953 Yorktown Drive in LaPlace, were not injured.

During the course of the investigation, information was received by police indicating a possible suicide was the cause of the accident, according to State Police spokesman Trooper Omar Landrum.

State Police is conducing a joint investigation with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office to determine how the incident will be classified, Landrum continued.

In a separate incident, a Donaldsonville man was killed early Monday in a two-car accident at the foot of the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish.

According to Troope Matt Trahan of Louisiana State Police Troop C, John R. Winchester, 56, of Donaldsonville, was driving his 1995 Buick LeSabre across Louisiana Highway 70 when he apparently failed to yield and entered the intersection.

Winchester’s vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by a westbound 18-wheeler driven by Henry P. Landry, 38, of Pierre Part.

Winchester was pronounced dead at the scene. Landry received minor injuries and was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales. Alcohol is not suspected in the crash, but tests on Landry are being conducted and results are pending.

Trooper J. Coddou is continuing his investigation.