Deadly weekend for motorcyclists in Baton Rouge area: three die in separate accidents

Local News
Totty crash 2-3-19_1549214111017.JPG.jpg

It has been a deadly weekend for motorcyclists in the Baton Rouge area. Three motorcyclists were killed within a 24-hour span, according to Louisiana State Police Troop A.

Austin Huber

The third and latest, an early-Saturday-morning hit-and-run in Livingston Parish, ended with the arrest of an East Baton Rouge woman, according to LSP.

Emily A. Easley, 30, was taken into custody Saturday evening, and charged in the death of 25-year-old Austin Huber of Greensburg, La. in an accident that also seriously injured 29-year-old Brandi Hughes of Walker, La.   

Shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, Troopers from LSP Troop A responded to a hit-and-run fatality crash involving a motorcycle on Louisiana Highway 16 (Vincent Road), south of Pete’s Highway in Livingston Parish.

The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as Huber and his passenger, Hughes, were traveling southbound on LA16 on a 2003 Honda Shadow 750 motorcycle.

For reasons still under investigation, Easley who was driving a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, made a left turn from James Street across the southbound lanes of travel into the path of Huber’s motorcycle.

Huber’s motorcycle struck the suspect vehicle, and he and Hughes were ejected.

Though wearing a DOT approved helmet, Huber still suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.

Impairment is not suspected by Huber, but a toxicology sample was taken from him for analysis. Hughes also was wearing a DOT approved helmet, but sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash.

She was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Easley was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center and charged with Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Negligent Injuring, Felony Hit and Run, Reckless Operation, Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign, Failure to Report a Crash and Expired Vehicle Registration.

Troopers also took the Grand Cherokee, to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for forensic analysis.

Troopers wish to remind motorists to always be aware of their surroundings and look out for motorcycles. Motorists should never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, always ensure every occupant is properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws. Taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.

Kyle Gatzke

The second accident, which took the life of a 33-year-old man, happened almost seven hours earlier in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

Kyle Gatzke of Baton Rouge, was pronounced dead of his injuries after being transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

Just before 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, Troopers from LSP Troop A began investigating a crash involving a motorcycle on U.S, Highway 61 (Airline Highway), south of Louisiana Hwy 948 in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The initial investigation revealed that the crash occurred as Gatzke was traveling northbound on U.S. 61 on a 2012 Honda CBR motorcycle.

At the same time, 48-year-old Lana Byars of Prairieville was traveling southbound on 61 in a 2015 Nissan Juke.

Byars failed to yield, making a left turn across the northbound lanes of travel into the path of Gatzke’s motorcycle.

Gatzke’s motorcycle struck the Nissan and he was ejected.

As in the Livingston Parish crash, Gatzke was wearing a DOT approved helmet, but still sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash, but a toxicology sample was taken from Gatzke for analysis.

Byars was properly restrained and was not injured. She was given a chemical breath test and showed no signs of impairment. The investigation is on-going and charges are pending.

BRPD Cpl. Shane Totty

Earlier Friday afternoon a Baton Rouge Police Officer died of injuries sustained as he was providing an escort for a funeral procession.

BRPO Cpl. Shane Totty was in the 6400 block of Jones Creek Road near Tiger Bend  when a pickup truck pulled out of an apartment complex and struck the motorcycle Totty was driving.

The critically-injured officer was rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, where he died of his injuries a short time later.

Totty, who joined the BRPD in June 2014, was severely injured in February 2018 when he responded to a suspect who had shot at family members and a friend, and the suspect fired multiple shots into the windshield of his car. He returned to work several months after the shooting and transferred to the motorcycle division.

It has been a deadly weekend in the Greater Baton Rouge. Three motorcyclists were killed within a 24-hour span, according to Louisiana State Police Troop A.

Austin Huber

The third and latest, an early-Saturday-morning hit-and-run in Livingston Parish, ended with the arrest of an East Baton Rouge woman, according to LSP.

Emily A. Easley, 30, was taken into custody Saturday evening, and charged in the death of 25-year-old Austin Huber of Greensburg, La. in an accident that also seriously injured 29-year-old Brandi Hughes of Walker, La.   

Shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, Troopers from LSP Troop A responded to a hit-and-run fatality crash involving a motorcycle on Louisiana Highway 16 (Vincent Road), south of Pete’s Highway in Livingston Parish.

The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as Huber and his passenger, Hughes, were traveling southbound on LA16 on a 2003 Honda Shadow 750 motorcycle.

For reasons still under investigation, Easley who was driving a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, made a left turn from James Street across the southbound lanes of travel into the path of Huber’s motorcycle.

Huber’s motorcycle struck the suspect vehicle, and he and Hughes were ejected.

Though wearing a DOT approved helmet, Huber still suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.

Impairment is not suspected by Huber, but a toxicology sample was taken from him for analysis. Hughes also was wearing a DOT approved helmet, but sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash.

She was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Easley was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center and charged with Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Negligent Injuring, Felony Hit and Run, Reckless Operation, Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign, Failure to Report a Crash and Expired Vehicle Registration.

Troopers also took the Grand Cherokee, to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for forensic analysis.

Troopers wish to remind motorists to always be aware of their surroundings and look out for motorcycles. Motorists should never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, always ensure every occupant is properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws. Taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.

Kyle Gatzke

The second accident, which took the life of a 33-year-old man, happened almost seven hours earlier in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

Kyle Gatzke of Baton Rouge, was pronounced dead of his injuries after being transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

Just before 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, Troopers from LSP Troop A began investigating a crash involving a motorcycle on U.S, Highway 61 (Airline Highway), south of Louisiana Hwy 948 in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The initial investigation revealed that the crash occurred as Gatzke was traveling northbound on U.S. 61 on a 2012 Honda CBR motorcycle.

At the same time, 48-year-old Lana Byars of Prairieville was traveling southbound on 61 in a 2015 Nissan Juke.

Byars failed to yield, making a left turn across the northbound lanes of travel into the path of Gatzke’s motorcycle.

Gatzke’s motorcycle struck the Nissan and he was ejected.

As in the Livingston Parish crash, Gatzke was wearing a DOT approved helmet, but still sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash, but a toxicology sample was taken from Gatzke for analysis.

Byars was properly restrained and was not injured. She was given a chemical breath test and showed no signs of impairment. The investigation is on-going and charges are pending.

BRPD Cpl. Shane Totty

Earlier Friday afternoon a Baton Rouge Police Officer died of injuries sustained as he was providing an escort for a funeral procession.

BRPO Cpl. Shane Totty was in the 6400 block of Jones Creek Road near Tiger Bend  when a pickup truck pulled out of an apartment complex and struck the motorcycle Totty was driving.

The critically-injured officer was rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, where he died of his injuries a short time later.

Totty, who joined the BRPD in June 2014, was severely injured in February 2018 when he responded to a suspect who had shot at family members and a friend, and the suspect fired multiple shots into the windshield of his car. He returned to work several months after the shooting and transferred to the motorcycle division.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Check This Out

Trending Stories

Loving Living Local 600x600

Don't Miss