Early this morning, at 1:13 a.m., troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a crash on U.S. Highway 171 north of Parish Road in Moss Bluff that claimed the life of a Lake Charles man.
According to investigating troopers, 48-year-old Darryl K. Fontenot of Lake Charles was riding a bicycle north in the outside lane on U.S. 171 when he was struck from behind by a northbound 1999 GMC pick-up driven by 24-year-old Cody M. Ardoin of Ragley. Investigators determined Fontenot was riding his bicycle in the lane of travel while Ardoin was driving his truck about one foot to the right of the fog line at the time of impact. Fontenot died as a result of his injuries.
Ardoin was transported to State Police Troop D for a chemical test. His blood alcohol concentration was .085g% which exceeds the legal limit for impairment in Louisiana. Ardoin was charged with vehicular homicide and improper lane usage and was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center. The investigation is continuing.
The preliminary investigation revealed Fontenot did not have proper lighting on his bicycle as required for nighttime use by Louisiana law. Proper lighting and additional reflective material such as a vest may reduce the likelihood of being struck while riding a bicycle at night.
Impairment is also suspected to be a factor in this crash. Last year in Louisiana, 303 of the 720 people killed on our highways (42%) were involved in alcohol related crashes. Motorists should designate a sober driver before heading to a bar, restaurant, casino, or party whenever drinking alcohol is a possibility.
To report impaired drivers, motorists may dial *LSP (*577) from their cellular phone or contact their local law enforcement agency.