Pedestrian killed in Concordia Parish crash

Published 9:56 am Friday, October 4, 2019

A Ridgecrest man was killed Thursday night while he was attempting to repair a vehicle in a parking lot and was hit by a big rig truck, authorities said.

Louisiana State Troopers responded to the crash that occurred at U.S. 84, near Louisiana 566 at approximately 7:45 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.

The crash that killed David Rutledge, 31, involved a 2015 Peterbilt (box truck), driven by 54-year-old Jingge Zhu of Collin, Texas.

Email newsletter signup

The Peterbilt was westbound on U.S. 84 when Zhu lost control and exited the right side of the roadway, authorities said. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle entered a parking lot and collided with Rutledge.

Rutledge was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, state Troopers said. Zhu was charged with careless operation. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

Although the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, Troopers said they would like to remind the public of the following: inattentive and distracted driving is dangerous and is a leading cause of crashes in our state.

It is important for motorists to pay attention to what is going on outside of the vehicle they are driving. More information on distracted driving may be found online at the federal government’s official distracted driving website,

Troop E Troopers have investigated 35 fatal crashes in 2019, resulting in 39 fatalities.