BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police said three motorcyclists were injured in three separate crashes Sunday. One of them is hospitalized with severe injuries.
Michael Harriel, 56, of Ethel crashed his 2008 Harley Davidson on LA 409 (Liberty Road) near Port Hudson-Pride Road in the Pride area around 6:30 p.m. Troopers said he went off the road in a curve and hit a bridge railing.
He suffered life-threatening injuries in the wreck. Investigators reported they believe impairment and speed were factors in the crash. A toxicology sample was submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
Earlier in the day, a hit and run crash left Thomas Bates, 49, of Baton Rouge with moderate injuries. It happened on LA 74 near LA 73 in Dutchtown around 2:30 p.m. LSP reported the initial investigation showed Bates was headed eastbound on LA 74 on a 1999 Yamaha when a 2002 Chrysler minivan traveling westbound on the same highway turned in front of him at Louis White Road.
Troopers said Bates slammed into the van, which then drove off. Deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office later found the minivan, but it was empty. They believe the suspects ran away.
The crash remains under investigation.
About an hour before that crash, Matthew Anders, 25, of Gonzales was seriously injured on US 61 at Duplessis Road in Prairieville. Troopers said a 2013 Dodge Avenger driven by Ovilso Romero, 45, of Raleigh, NC turned in front of Anders's 2006 Suzuki. Investigators said the motorcycle hit the car.
They said Anders may have been driving too fast, which is believed to have been a factor in the crash. They added they don't think impairment played a role in the accident, but toxicology samples were taken from both drivers and submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
LSP reported statistics from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission show motorcyclists were involved in over 2,100 crashes that resulted in 75 deaths across the state in 2012. Troopers urge motorcyclists of all ages and experience levels to take extra precautions while riding and ensure they are properly prepared and trained for a variety of riding conditions.