Motorcyclist dead after crash north of Westlake

The following is a news release from the Louisiana State Police:

WESTLAKE, LA – This afternoon, at 1:39 p.m., troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a two-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 378 (milepost 2) north of Westlake in Calcasieu Parish that killed a motorcyclist and caused minor injuries to another motorist.

The preliminary investigation revealed a 2002 Honda Motorcycle operated by 32-year-old Hector W. Rodriguez-Ocasio of Lake Charles was traveling south on LA 378 at Hudson Drive. A 2009 Cadillac, driven by 44-year-old Theresa Champeaux of Lake Charles, was also traveling south on LA 378. There was a dark colored unknown vehicle traveling behind the Cadillac. According to witnesses, Rodriquez-Ocasio approached the other vehicles from the rear at a high rate of speed as Champeaux attempted to turn left from LA 378 into a private parking lot.

Physical evidence indicates Rodriquez-Ocasio started to pass Champeaux and the unknown vehicle while in the intersection of LA 378 and Hudson Drive. As Champeaux made a left turn into the parking lot, the motorcycle slid on to its left side into Champeaux's vehicle. The motorcycle broke into two pieces and came to rest in the parking lot and the ditch adjacent to the parking lot. Champeaux came to a controlled stop in the parking lot.

Witness statements and physical evidence suggest Rodriguez-Ocasio did have an approved helmet with him but it was not properly attached to his head. Rodriquez-Ocasio was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced dead upon arrival. Champeaux was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Routine toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. The investigation is continuing.

Troop D troopers have investigated 24 fatal crashes in 2010, resulting in 28 fatalities.