Arrest made in deadly hit & run from January


Louisiana State Police arrested Jarrett Rachal, 40, of Prairieville in connection to a fatal hit and run crash that killed Leah Tatman of Baton Rouge.
According to troopers, Tatman, 30, was walking on Jefferson Hwy. on Jan. 23, 2022 around 10pm when a suspected Dodge Ram driving northbound on Jefferson Hwy., hit her.

Tatman was transported to a hospital but died of her injuries.

A passenger side mirror left on scene helped troopers figure out the vehicle that may have hit Tatman was a 2018-2020 Dodge Ram 2500 or 3500 model.

Just after 3pm on Sunday, March 6, 2022, troopers arrested Rachal and charged him with felony hit & run resulting in death and driving under suspension. 

According to Rachal’s arresting documents, Rachal said he left his girlfriend’s house on Jan. 23, 2022 to go to his parents’ home to feed the cows and put up the dogs. On his way back, he said he heard a noise while on Jefferson Hwy. He said he stopped and realized that his passenger mirror was broken.

“He was centered in his lane. He looked around and did not see anything. He thought it could have been an owl or a sign. He returned in the morning to look for a sign or possibly an animal, and to look for the mirror glass. He didn’t see anything. He never heard or saw anything about the accident, as he does not have social media and doesn’t watch the news,” said arresting documents. 

He said he got a call from a friend on Jan. 28th that someone was hit on Jefferson Hwy. and it may be his truck. The next morning, Rachal called Troop A State Police to speak to someone about the wreck.  

Based on the investigation, it appears Rachal’s passenger mirror hit Tatman in the head causing her to fall face first onto the pavement.

Troopers said Rachal was driving a 2019 Dodge Ram 2500. He was arrested and charged because troopers said Rachal “did not stop, but continued to a residence on Hoo Shoo Too Rd. Rachal did not report the incident. Rachal did not contact authorities for six days to report the crash.”

Plus, there was no way for troopers to test Rachal’s level of impairment during the time of the crash.

Rachal has had a suspended driver’s license since July 30, 2021 due to unpaid fines in the Gonzales JDC.

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