NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - State Police said they believe two different cars struck a man riding his bike on Earhart Expressway early Wednesday morning, killing him. The accident happened near the Orleans Parish line, just before 2 a.m.
As troopers search for the two hit-and-run drivers, the biking community mourns yet another loss. The group of people gathered on Poydras Street didn't know Ronald Alexander personally, but his death affects them deeply.
"This is a salute, a farewell. It's too much, man," Bad News Bike Club member J.P. Pool said.
Members of the club placed a white ghost bike at the intersection where the 58-year-old lost his life just over a week ago in a wreck with a cab at Poydras and Camp streets. He died one day later.
"I've done this too many times," Pool said.
This bike is the 11th the group has placed on New Orleans streets since it started the ritual in 2013. Soon, there will be a 12th for the man who died Wednesday morning on Earhart.
"During the crash, we do suspect that the bicyclist was traveling either on the side of the right lane or on the shoulder. He was hit in the rear," State Police Trooper Melissa Matey said.
Matey said bicyclists and vehicles must adhere to the same traffic laws. One of those laws provides protection for people on bikes.
"If that person is not on the shoulder or if they're in a lane of travel, you have to give them at least three feet as you go around them," Matey said.
Bike Easy Vice President Charlie Thomas admits that some bicyclists don't follow the letter of the law, which contributes to accidents.
"That's totally fair and that's an issue that needs to be worked on," Thomas said.
Which is why his organization aims to educate both bicyclists and motorists, especially with more bikes on the road. With such an influx of people riding in recent years, Thomas said the numbers show there actually aren't that many accidents.
"Per rider, per capita, the results aren't as horrible as you would see from a full scale statistics study," Thomas said.
But he admits, any life lost is too many.
"It's just very, very sad when any incident happens, no matter what the number is," Thomas said.
State Police say one of the vehicles that hit the man on Earhart is a Toyota. They don't have surveillance video of the hit and run yet but are asking anyone with information to come forward or call Crimestoppers. There is a reward in the case.