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Livingston Parish residents air concerns after deadly hit-and-run on Buddy Ellis Road

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Livingston Parish residents are airing concerns after a man was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Monday, May 10.

“I don’t even know. It was like you really couldn’t believe it when they said it was Jacob, but it was him,” said Nate Davis.

21-year-old Jacob Chalker was found just after 7 a.m. by a passerby on Buddy Ellis Road. LPSO believes the crash happened sometime between midnight and 7 a.m.

Sheriff Jason Ard said Chalker left his job at the Dairy Queen off Juban Road around 11:45 p.m. on a bicycle. He added the victim was headed east on Buddy Ellis when it is believed he was hit.

Nate Davis was one of Chalker’s co-workers. He said Buddy Ellis is notoriously known as one of the most dangerous in the parish.

“Buddy Ellis, it really is just something waiting to happen,” said Davis.

He said the size and lack of lighting make it nearly impossible to drive down, especially at night.

“It’s very skinny and you can’t see unless you put your bright lights on,” said Davis.

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks said they’ve heard the complaints, and that’s why they just finished a $4.6 million project to fix most of those issues.

The project was given the green light on Oct. 1, 2019, and focused on widening, overlay, and subsurface drainage of Buddy Ellis Road.

Ricks said the project was finished about 4 to 6 weeks ago. However, he does understand that people still aren’t satisfied.

“You always want to do more,” Ricks said.

Ricks said they are grateful to secure the funding that they did, but they weren’t able to get money to put up lights along the road.

“Unfortunately, it requires a lot of funding and we were fortunate to get the $4.6 million to do the work that we needed to do because prior to that there was no shoulder. It is somewhat of a dark, curvy road so there was no shoulder and the bridge was in deplorable shape,” said Ricks.

Ricks said the process to get that type of money takes time and is very competitive.

“Remember everybody is competing for these dollars, and it’s just so much of it to go around,” said Ricks.

Rick said he and the parish are fighting for these upgrades to make sure accidents like this won’t happen again, but he stressed that it can’t happen overnight.

“We know if we can get these dollars, get the projects approved, and actually get them constructed, we’re going to see improvements in our parish, and we work hard toward that goal every day,” said Ricks.

The car involved in the crash is believed to have damage to the driver’s side and front end.

The sheriff’s office is asking for any surveillance video from the area that could have captured the crash.

The investigation is ongoing.

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