Laplace man killed in St. Helena Parish crash

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FILE – In this Sept. 25, 2020 file photo, a heavy Louisiana State Police presence is seen at the New Chapel Hill Baptist Church during funeral services for Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth in West Monroe, La. An Associated Press review of thousands of records has revealed multiple cases when Louisiana State troopers and some of their supervisors exchanged emails with casual, demeaning uses of the n-word. All of it comes against the backdrop of a federal civil rights investigation over the in-custody death of a Black motorist that has roiled the state’s premier law enforcement agency and led to an abrupt change in its leadership. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

GREENSBURG, La. — Louisiana State Police are investigating a fatal crash on LA 37 east of LA 449 in St. Helena Parish that occurred on Friday shortly before midnight.

The crash claimed the life of 78-year-old James R. Epperly Jr. of Laplace.    

Troop L’s initial investigation revealed that Epperly was eastbound on LA 37 on a 2016 Suzuki Burgman 650 motorcycle when the roadway began to curve to the left.  For reasons still under investigation, Epperly’s motorcycle exited the roadway to the right into a ditch where it began to overturn and ejected him. 

Epperly was wearing a non-approved helmet and sustained fatal injuries during the crash.  He was pronounced deceased on the scene by the St. Helena Parish Coroner’s Office. 

Impairment is not suspected, however, as part of the ongoing investigation, a blood sample was taken from Epperly for scientific analysis. 

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