Last night, 31-year-old David Rutledge, of Ridgecrest, was killed while he was attempting to repair a vehicle in a parking lot in Concordia Parish.
Rutledge was hit by a 2005 Peterbilt (box truck) driven by 54-year-old Jingge Zhu of Collin, Texas after he lost control of the vehicle and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway the vehicle entered the parking lot where Rutledge was and collided with him.
He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Zhu was charged with careless operation and the crash remains under investigation.
Although the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, Troopers would like to remind the public of the following: inattentive and distracted driving is dangerous and is a leading cause of crashes in our state. It is important for motorists to pay attention to what is going on outside of the vehicle they are driving. More information on distracted driving may be found online at the federal government’s official distracted driving website, www.distraction.gov.
Troop E Troopers have investigated 35 fatal crashes in 2019, resulting in 39 fatalities.