GEISMAR, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy John DePedro Jr., 36, was killed Friday, April 19 in a motorcycle wreck in Geismar.
Emergency crews responded to the deadly wreck involving a motorcycle and one other vehicle on Highway 30 in Geismar Friday afternoon.
It happened some time after 12 p.m. near the intersection on Highway 30 south of Highway 73.
Louisiana State Police says the initial investigation shows the wreck happened as DePedro was headed south on Highway 30 on a 2017 Harley Davidson Roadster, when for reasons still under investigation, DePedro tried to pass a vehicle in a no passing zone, then hit a raised speed hump in the center turn lane, causing him to be thrown off the motorcycle.
Police says the motorcycle skidded across the road and hit a 2000 Toyota Tacoma that was headed north on Highway 30.
Police say DePedro was wearing a DOT-approved helmet, but sustained life-threatening injuries nonetheless. He was was taken to a local hospital, but did not survive.
Impairment is not suspected, LSP says, but a toxicology sample was taken from DePedro for analysis. The driver of the Tacoma was wearing a seat belt and was not injured. He was given a chemical breath test and showed no signs of impairment, police say.
DePedro was traveling with another off-duty deputy at the time, who was not injured.
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says he hired DePedro in 2008 and that he worked in the parish prison and he was currently assigned to the Special Community Anti-Crime Team. DePedro was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
DePedro, who lived in Baker, leaves behind a wife and two children.
Sheriff Gautreaux released the following statement about DePedro’s death:
It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that Deputy John DePedro of our SCAT division was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident while off duty today.
I am grateful for the almost 11 years of service John gave us. He served at the prison for eight years and has been with our SCAT division for the past three. He was a dedicated public servant and will be greatly missed.
My heart breaks for his wife Dawn and two children, and all of those that loved him. I am grateful that in celebrating Easter this weekend, we are reminded of God’s promise that we will see those we love again someday. Please remember John’s family in your prayers. We will let you all know as soon as arrangements are made.