ROBERT, La. – On Wednesday, Louisiana State Police were able to get in touch with the family of a bicyclist who was killed by a hit and run driver just after midnight on Sunday.
Police said Bruce D. Burge, 58, was struck from behind by someone driving a maroon sedan, possibly a Saturn. The victim’s body wasn’t discovered until near day break.
It took police over three days to track down his next of kin, due to the fact that his family lived in Portland, Oregon.
Burge, a Vietnam veteran, had a son and daughter and grandchildren, according to his family.
Although living part of his childhood in Missouri, "he loved Louisiana and called it his home," according to his relative.
The incident occurred two miles north of Hwy. 190 on LA 445 in the Robert area.
The suspect in the hit and run is also being sought. It’s believed the vehicle may have suffered damage to its right front bumper, quarter panel and windshield.
People who live in the area where the crash occurred say they’re surprised someone hasn’t been hurt sooner. They say increased traffic on the road, coupled with crumbling pavement and a lack of shoulders have made LA 445 more hazardous.
"I hate that somebody has to get hurt before somebody will recognize this," Conner Vance said.
The DOTD says it has an estimated $2.5 million to $5 million project planned that will involve resurfacing the 7.8-mile section of LA 445 from Hwy 190 in Robert north to LA 40. During the design process, DOTD will evaluate the possibility of widening the travel lanes from 11-feet-wide to 12-feet-wide, which would provide drivers and cyclists a safer roadway to travel on. DOTD estimates that it will be able to have the project ready to accept bids in state fiscal year 2014-2015, pending funding availability.
If you can help police find the driver, call Troop L at 985-893-6250.