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Improper passing leads to fatal motorcycle crash in Louisiana

Earlier this month, a crash involving a motorcycle and Chrysler 300 turned deadly for the 57-year-old man who was driving the Harley-Davidson on Louisiana Highway 379 near Westlake at about 7:24 a.m.

Initial police reports say the motorcycle accident began after two vehicles traveling eastbound on Louisiana Highway 379 passed a semitrailer truck that had stopped at a railroad crossing. Louisiana law requires that all tractor-trailer trucks stop at railroad crossings, even if there are no indications that a train is coming. The second vehicle, the Chrysler 300, ended up colliding with the westbound motorcycle in a head-on collision.

Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The driver of the motorcycle had been wearing a helmet, meaning that the force of the impact was quite severe. It is unclear how fast the driver was traveling at the time of the accident or why he or she did not stop to look for oncoming traffic before trying to pass the truck.

The suspect could be facing criminal charges, but so far he has only been issued a ticket for improper passing. The driver has, however, submitted blood samples for testing.

Police officers in the area say this was the second fatal motorcycle accident since the beginning of the year.

This crash is an absolute tragedy, especially because it would have been so easy to prevent it. Had the driver taken a few moments to wait behind the semitrailer truck before driving forward, this accident would never have happened.

Source: KPLC 7, "Westlake man dies in motorcycle crash," Kristian Claus, March 25, 2012

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