Pedestrian killed after being struck by vehicle on I-12

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police reports that a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle as she walked across the westbound lanes of I-12 just two miles west of the LA 445/Robert exit in Tangipahoa Parish.

According to police reports, 27-year-old Crystal Joiner and her boyfriend Tod Reddicks, 46, got into an argument as they were driving east on I-12. Riddicks pulled over on the eastbound shoulder and stopped the vehicle, then Joiner exited and crossed both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the I-12.  Joiner began walking on the westbound shoulder. Riddicks followed her across the interstate and both continued along the westbound shoulder until Joiner abruptly walked into traffic lane right in front of a 2003 Chevy Tracker driven by Bogalusa resident Ethel LeBlanc, 60, heading westbound.

The Chevy struck Joiner and she suffered fatal injuries from the impact. She was pronounced dead on the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner's Office and is suspected of being impaired at the time of the crash.

LeBlanc was properly restrained in her vehicle, and she was not injured in the crash. No charges are expected to be filed.

Louisiana State Police released the following statement:

"Troopers urge both motorists and pedestrians to remain vigilant while on area roadways and pay close attention to their surroundings.  Louisiana State Law prohibits pedestrians on interstate shoulders and requires the use of sidewalks where accessible.  While the dangers of impaired driving are evident, the safe consumption of alcohol is also the responsibility of passengers who can become dangerous distractions while riding in a motor vehicle.  For the safety of all occupants, passengers should conduct themselves in such a manner as to not distract the driver and ensure a safe trip for everyone traveling on our roadways."

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