May 14, 2012 10:29 AM by Cecilia Stevenson
Last night, a Palmetto man died on the side of US Highway 71 north of Lebeau.
On May 18, 2012, Louisiana State Police Troop I investigated a fatal crash that happened at 8:36 p.m. 25-year-old Eric Franklin of Baton Rouge was driving a 2006 Nissan Altima, headed south, on US 71. For unknown reasons, 35-year-old Joseph Stelly of Palmetto was standing in the southbound lane of US 71. The front of Franklin's vehicle struck Stelly.
Stelly was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner. Franklin was not injured. It is unknown if alcohol was a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. This crash remains under investigation.
**Troopers remind pedestrians state law requires you walk on a sidewalk if provided. If no sidewalk is provided, you must walk against the flow of traffic on the shoulder or as near to the left side of the road as possible. It is also recommended you wear light, or reflective, colored clothing when walking after dark and during times of inclement weather. Should you need to cross the road, you may only do so at intersections and properly marked crosswalks.**