Wheelchair User Struck and Killed on US 11

Published 3:25 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

Slidell – Shortly after midnight on Friday, April 22, 2022, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L responded to a fatal crash on US 11 near Oak Harbor Blvd., in St. Tammany Parish.  The crash claimed the life of a man who was using a wheelchair to cross US 11.  Troopers are withholding the name of the deceased pending proper notification to next of kin.

The initial investigation led Troopers to determine that the crash occurred as a 2014 Nissan Altima was traveling northbound on US 11.  At the same time, a wheelchair user was attempting to cross the travel lanes of US 11.  The wheelchair user was wearing dark clothing and utilizing a dark colored electric wheelchair with no lighting. As the wheelchair entered the northbound lane of US 11, the user was struck by the front of the Nissan Altima.

The wheelchair user was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.  Shortly after arriving at the hospital, he succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash. The driver of the Altima was properly restrained and was not injured in the crash.  Impairment is not suspected by either of the involved parties. Blood samples were collected and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office for toxicological analysis.

According to data from NHTSA, in 2019, 6,205 pedestrians were kill and an estimated 76,000 were injured nationwide.  To raise awareness of the dangers to pedestrians, NHTSA offers these pedestrian safety tips.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  1. Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
  2. Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
  3. Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
  4. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  5. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
  6. Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  7. Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
  8. Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  1. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  2. Use sidewalks whenever they are available.
  3. If there is no sidewalk, face traffic and stay as far from traffic as possible.
  4. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
  5. If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
  6. Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
  7. Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
  8. Embrace walking as a healthy form of transportation – get up, get out and get moving.