Big rig runs off road, killing Louisiana man fixing his truck in a parking lot

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FROGMORE, La. (10/4/2019) — A Concordia Parish man is dead following a crash in Frogmore.

Louisiana State Police say David Rutledge, 31, was parked off the roadway near Highway 84, near LA Hwy. 566. His family tells us he was helping someone with car problems who had pulled into the parking lot.

Police say Jingge Zhu, 54, was driving a 2015 Peterbuilt box truck when he lost control, left the roadway, hit a vehicle in the parking lot, and hit Rutledge and the other man in the parking lot.

Rutledge was taken the the hospital were he was pronounced dead. Rutledge’s family says the other man is in critical condition.

We talked to David’s mother-in-law off camera. She told us David was a fantastic husband to her daughter.

A day later, you could still see the ruts in the parking lot from the crash.

Below is the full press release from LSP:

Last night, a male pedestrian from Ridgecrest, LA was killed while he was attempting to repair a disabled vehicle in a parking lot.  

Troopers responded to the crash around 7:45 p.m., which occurred on U.S. Hwy 84, near LA Hwy 566.  The crash involved a 2015 Peterbilt (box truck), driven by 54-year-old Jingge Zhu of Collin, TX and a pedestrian, identified as 31-year-old David Rutledge.  The Peterbilt was westbound on U.S. Hwy 84 when Zhu lost control and exited the right side of the roadway.  After exiting the roadway, the vehicle entered a parking lot and collided with Rutledge.

Rutledge was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Zhu was charged with careless operation.  Routine toxicology tests are pending.  The crash remains under investigation. 

Although the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, Troopers would like to remind the public of the following:  inattentive and distracted driving is dangerous and is a leading cause of crashes in our state. It is important for motorists to pay attention to what is going on outside of the vehicle they are driving. More information on distracted driving may be found online at the federal government’s official distracted driving website, www.distraction.gov.

Troop E Troopers have investigated 35 fatal crashes in 2019, resulting in 39 fatalities.        

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