Pine resident involved in fatal accident

Published 10:54 am Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Pine resident was involved in an accident Saturday evening in St. Helena Parish that left one person dead.

Taylor Freeman, 19, was driving a 2002 Honda Accord and crashed into a motorcycle, killing 29-year-old Jerry Worley III of Greensburg.

According to a press release from Louisiana State Police Troop L, Freeman was a distracted driver.

State police Troop L spokesman Master Trooper Greg Marchand said the preliminary investigation revealed that the Accord was traveling westbound on Louisiana Highway 16 approaching O’Neal Lane. At the same time, a 2000 Harley Davidson motorcycle operated by 51-year-old Cline Hooper Jr. of Walker and a 2006 Honda motorcycle operated by Worley were traveling, abreast, eastbound on La. 16 approaching O’Neal Lane.

Freeman approached O’Neal Lane, crossed the center line, entered the eastbound lane and continued westbound. While traveling the wrong direction, the Accord struck the Harley Davidson and Honda head on, ejecting Hooper and Worley, Marchand said.

Worley, who was wearing a D.O.T. approved helmet, was pronounced dead on the scene by the St. Helena Parish Coroner’s Office. Hooper, who was also wearing a D.O.T. approved helmet, received moderate injuries and was transported to Our Lady Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

Freeman, who was restrained, received minor injuries and was transported to Our Lady Lake Regional Medical Center in Walker, Marchand said.

The trooper said impairment is not suspected, though blood samples were collected from Freeman, Hooper and Worley so that toxicological analyses can be conducted at the LSP Crime Laboratory. Those results, as well as charges against Freeman, are pending as this crash remains under investigation.

Troopers remind motorists that distracted driving continuously contributes to crashes. Troopers urge motorists to stay vigilant while driving, always avoid distractions and never drive while fatigued or impaired.

Louisiana law states that motorists preparing to turn left at an intersection of a roadway moving in both directions shall do so from the right half of the roadway and not turn until even with such intersection.

Motorists who witness hazardous situations are urged to call *LSP (*577).