Utility worker killed by alleged drunk driver in St. Tammany Parish

Hurricane Ida

SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) — An investigation is underway after a utility worker in St. Tammany Parish was struck by a car, ultimately killing him.

Shortly after 8:15 p.m. on Friday, Louisiana State Police troopers responded to a car crash involving a utility worker on LA Highway 433 near Napoleon Avenue. Assisting in Hurricane Ida recovery, the unnamed utility worker was helping guide traffic on the highway, the investigation later revealed.

It was then that a 2001 Ford Ranger driven by John Kite of Slidell was traveling westbound. For reasons still under investigation, Slidell’s car struck a “Lane Closed” traffic sign as well as several orange cones before striking the utility worker.

LSP reports the worker was wearing reflective safety gear at the time of the crash. They were transported to a local hospital where they succumbed to their injuries days later. Their identity is being concealed until police notify the next of kin.

Kite was uninjured in the crash. While impairment is a suspected factor in the crash, a breath sample provided by Kite tested over the legal limit for alcohol.

Following the breath test, Kite was booked into the Slidell City Jail on an initial charge of Vehicular Negligent Driving. However, additional charges are pending.

The crash remains under investigation by Louisiana State Police.

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