Cyclist dies in La. 1 crash; road needs more lights, Iberville Parish sheriff says

Staff Report

Highway officials may need to add more lighting to a stretch of highway where a bicyclist lost his life last Friday, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said.

Stassi made his comments after a single-vehicle crash claimed the life of 41-year-old Jeross Banks. The accident occurred on La. 1, south of Plaquemine.

According to the initial Louisiana State Police investigation, Banks was on a bicycle heading south on La. 1 when a 2012 Dodge Ram – traveling in the same direction – struck the rear of the bicycle.

At the time of the collision, Banks was wearing dark clothing without a helmet, and had no lights on his bicycle.  Banks sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi

“It doesn’t take me long to think how many people were hit in that area (of the highway),” Stassi said. “That little area in the morning at night is dark, and this guy had dark clothes on, and the conditions were foggy.”

The accident occurred just before dawn when many motorists were heading to and from work.

“Maybe they need more lighting there,” Stassi said. “You have no businesses in that area … just trees, and then you get to the truck stop.”

Several accidents have occurred in that area, he said.

The driver of the Ram was properly restrained and was not injured.  As part of the ongoing investigation, a toxicology sample was obtained from the driver of the Ram and Banks for analysis. 

Louisiana law requires bicyclists to remain as close to the right side of the roadway as practicable and obey all traffic laws. 

“Bicyclists should never assume that a motorist can see you,” said Trooper Christian Reed, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop A. “Simple precautions such as wearing an approved bicycle helmet, reflective materials, and avoiding distractions are key to preventing crashes and avoiding injuries.”