Cycle goes airborne, hits building

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Passenger on back suffers fatal injuries, no helmet was worn say officials


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – A motorcycle accident in a LaPlace subdivision Sunday evening left one man dead and another injured, according to the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

Traffic Division Spokesperson, Lt. Troy Cassioppi, said the accident occurred at the intersection of Cartier Drive and Jasper Lane in the New Era Subdivision off Airline Highway in LaPlace.

Cassioppi said around 9:20 p.m. Sunday a red 2006 Suzuki motorcycle, driven by Merrill Marshall, 31, of Luling, was heading southbound on Cartier Drive. As the vehicle approached the intersection of Jasper Lane, the driver disregarded the stop sign, and proceeded through the intersection. The motorcycle struck a curb in the parking lot, went air borne through the lot, and crashed into a brick apartment building.

Cassioppi said Marshall and his passenger, Oscar James Lawrence, 29, 987 West 5th St., LaPlace, were ejected from the bike. He said Lawrence, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered fatal injuries to his head, and was pronounced dead on the scene by St. John Parish Coroner Dr. Christy Montegut.

Cassioppi said Marshall, who was wearing a Department of Transportation approved helmet, suffered moderate injuries and was transported to River Parish Hospital where his condition is unknown at this time. Cassioppi said Marshall is not the registered owner of the motorcycle, and does not have a motorcycle endorsement.

Cassioppi said blood and urine samples were taken from Marshall at the scene of the crash, and sent to the Louisiana State Police crime lab for analysis. He said investigators do not suspect Marshall was intoxicated at the time of the accident, but do believe speed was a factor in the incident.

Cassioppi said deputies are continuing their investigation, and criminal charges for Marshall are pending.