Driver of 18-wheeler arrested for death of motorcycle driver

Driver of 18-wheeler arrested for death of motorcycle driver
Howard Lyons (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The driver of an 18-wheeler is facing a charge of negligent homicide after police say he struck a motorcyclist several times.

The crash happened on Monday, July 9 at roughly 4:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of Florida Boulevard. The crash claimed the life of Ryan Carter, 38, of Baton Rouge.

According to the probable cause report, officers working a different crash witnessed the crash involving the 18-wheeler and the motorcycle.

“As the motorcycle passed the officers, the victim was observed yelling at the driver of the 18-wheeler,” states the report. “The 18-wheeler was then observed to strike the motorcycle in the rear several times. One of the witness officers yelled for them to pull over to the side of the road, but the 18-wheeler accelerated and struck the motorcycle in the rear again. This time, the victim was thrown from the motorcycle and was run over by every tire on the passenger side of the truck. The victim was immediately killed and pronounced dead at the scene.”

(Source: Donovan Jackson)

Howard James Lyons, 61, of Alabama, has been identified as the driver and was arrested at the scene. During questioning, he allegedly stated that he felt hitting a bump, but didn’t realize he had hit a person until after he looked in his side view mirror.

“The defendant further stated that he has driven trucks for over 40 years and has an exceptional amount of experience being an operator,” states the report. "When asked about striking the motorcycle several times prior to running the victim over, he stated that he did not see the motorcycle at any time, thought he hit a pot hole and accelerated to keep up with traffic.

The incident was allegedly captured on video and verifies the claims from witnesses.

Lyons is being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. The identity of the victim has not yet been released.

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