On Friday, September 10, 2021, shortly after 8:15 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian on LA Hwy 433, near Napoleon Avenue, in St. Tammany Parish. The crash claimed the life of a utility worker assisting with Hurricane Ida recovery. The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending proper notification to next of kin.
The initial investigation revealed that the utility worker was guiding traffic on LA Hwy 433. At the same time, a 2001 Ford Ranger driven by John Kite of Slidell was westbound on LA Hwy 433. For reasons still under investigation, the Ford Ranger impacted a "Lane Closed" traffic control sign, as well as multiple orange cones, before striking the utility worker in the roadway. The utility worker was wearing reflective gear at the time of the crash.
The utility worker sustained serious injuries during the crash and days later succumbed to those injuries at a local hospital. Kite was not injured during the crash. Impairment is suspected to be a factor in the crash. Troopers arrested and transported Kite to a nearby facility where he provided a breath sample that tested over the legal limit for alcohol. After the breath test was administered, Troopers booked Kite into the Slidell City Jail for violating L.R.S. 14:39.1 Vehicular Negligent Injuring. The crash remains under investigation with additional charges pending.