Family members of crash victim want safer roadway

Lani Jachetta (Source: Family)
Lani Jachetta (Source: Family)
US 190 in West Baton Rouge Parish (Source: WAFB)
US 190 in West Baton Rouge Parish (Source: WAFB)

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - People move at their own speed and along US 190 West in Port Allen, while many speed by, others are at their own pace just trying to get to the convenience store.

Trisha Jachetta and her 65-year-old mother, Lani Jachetta, trekked across the highway many times.

"Sometimes, we would have to make a mad dash," Trisha Jachetta recalled.

But last Thursday's routine trip took an unexpected turn and turned Jachetta onto a new crusade.

"I got a knock on the door that said you need to come outside. I had no idea what was going," said Trisha Jachetta.

She said her mother and a friend were headed to a store, which is a few minutes walk away from her home when she and the family friend were hit by a car. Lani Jachetta died at the scene.

"I wish it was me instead of her. My mother flew 50 feet because the cars were going so fast. I would have rather it be me than her. I would have pushed her out of the way," Trisha Jachetta said.

RELATED: Troopers investigate crash that killed 1 pedestrian, seriously injured another

Dozens of the families who live in the area don't have cars and really have no other choice but to dodge traffic to cross the busy street throughout the day. In fact, we caught a lady cautiously waiting. Trisha Jachetta said a simple fix, like more light, could actually save lives.

"Street lights would be great. That way, the cars can at least see pedestrians at night. I'm not going to stop until I get something done," Trisha Jachetta explained.

"I don't want it to happen to anyone else. No more deaths, no more accidents, no more problems," she added.

She also said the other victim is still in the hospital.

We reached out to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to see if officials have ever considered installing lights where the crash happened.

"This is the only fatality in that time frame," officials said after reviewing three years of data. "Any death is a tragedy and safety is our No. 1 concern. However, this area does not have a history of incidents and has not been an area of discussion for lighting. We'd also like to remind people to use extreme caution when walking near a roadway. Wear reflective or bright-colored clothing, walk facing traffic when possible, and always be aware of your surroundings."

Funeral services for Lani Jachetta have not taken place yet due to lack of funds, according to the family.

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