Elderly pedestrian killed in Vernon Parish crash

A pedestrian was killed in a single-vehicle crash Monday morning on U.S. 171 at Holly Grove Road, north of Leesville.

Louisiana State Police, Troop E, responded to the crash around 5:08 a.m. The pedestrian was walking in the middle of the outside lane of U.S. 171 when he was struck by a southbound vehicle.

The pedestrian, Robert Edward Michalk, of Hornbeck, was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers say he was struck by a 2006 Volkswagon Jetta driven by Geneva Maynard Smith, of Anacoco.

Smith was wearing her seatbelt and was not injured in the crash. The incident remains under investigation, and toxicology results are pending.

Troop E would like to remind pedestrians to wear bright or lightly colored clothing or clothing with reflective materials, to make oneself more visible to drivers. For added safety, Troop E recommends that pedestrians walking at night carry a flashlight.

Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk, if there is one available. In the absence of a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the shoulder of the road or, if there is no shoulder, as close to the roadway edge as possible while facing traffic.

So far this year, Troop E has investigated 49 fatal crashes, which have resulted in 54 deaths.

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