UPDATE: The driver of the 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe that fled the scene has been identified as 45-year-old Lamont Wiltz of St. Martinville. On February 18, 2020, Wiltz was arrested by Troopers and booked into St. Martin Parish Jail on the charges of:
LRS 14:100 Hit and Run
LRS 32:415 Operating Vehicle with License Suspended
LRS 32: 863.1 No Proof of Insurance
St. Martinville – Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a fatal hit-and-run crash involving an ATV on LA Hwy 31 near Big Apple Lane in St. Martin Parish, just before 7:00 pm on February 8, 2020.
The crash claimed the life of 36-year-old Jamaal Anthony James of St. Martinville.
The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as James was traveling northbound on LA Hwy 31 on a 2008 Honda four wheeler. At the same time, an unknown vehicle was also traveling northbound. The unknown vehicle struck the ATV causing it to leave the roadway. After leaving the roadway, the ATV entered a ditch and James was ejected.
James sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash, despite having worn a D.O.T. approved helmet. He was transported to a local hospital, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Impairment is unknown at this time, but a toxicology sample was taken from James for analysis.
Debris left at the scene, believed to be from the other vehicle involved, was collected and is being examined by investigators. Anyone with information is urged to call Louisiana State Police Troop I at 337-262-5880. This crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind ATV operators about the importance of not riding on public roadways with off-road-only type vehicles. Information about Louisiana State Law regarding ATV operation on public roadways can be found at http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=88237
Troop I has investigated 4 fatal crashes resulting in 6 deaths since the beginning of 2020.