Sheriff Sam Craft would like to take a moment to address the tragic death of Sherell Lewis Jr. who was struck by a vehicle yesterday on Highway 171 in the Billy Goat Hill area.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. May 29th the Vernon Parish 911 Communications Center received a report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in the area of the Zydeco Bar.

VPSO Deputies, Troopers from the Louisiana State Police, and Acadian Ambulance Personnel responded to the area where they located critically injured Sherell Lewis Jr., age 31, of Leesville.

Medical personnel immediately began to treat Lewis who was transported from the scene to Byrd Hospital to meet Life Flight.

The driver of the vehicle was at the scene of the accident and LSP Troopers spoke with him, as well as witnesses, regarding the incident.

Law enforcement personnel were notified a short time later that Sherell Lewis Jr. had succumbed to his injuries and had passed away during medical treatment.

The Louisiana State Police investigation into the incident is ongoing. LSP investigates all traffic accidents involving fatalities.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office has been contacted by numerous citizens regarding social media posts relating to the incident.

Sheriff Craft states, “I am appalled at the content of the social media messages that were posted after the incident. This post is unacceptable and has no place in our society. The inflammatory words that were used were morally wrong. I have the utmost confidence in the Louisiana State Police and their ability to thoroughly investigate this incident. I encourage any citizen who has information regarding the accident to contact the Louisiana State Police – Troop E, Alexandria, La. (318) 487-5911”.

Although the incendiary language used in the social media post is morally and socially unacceptable, the post itself, did not violate any criminal code within Louisiana law.

Sheriff Craft and the employees of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Sherell Lewis Jr.