45-year-old Richard "Ricky" Rees, an off-duty Lafayette Police Lieutenant, has died in a single vehicle crash on La. Highway 3000 north of Interstate 10.

La. State Police spokesman Trooper Stephen Hammons says Rees was driving his Harley Davidson northbound when, for reasons still under investigation, went off a sharp curve into a ditch. Rees and his passenger, 34-year-old Bridget Benoit of Scott, were ejected from the motorcycle. Rees was pronounced dead at the scene by the Iberville Parish Coroner. Benoit is in the hospital with moderate injuries.

“The sudden and unexpected death of Lieutenant Richard Rees has left all of us in a state of shock,” said Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft.  “Our Lafayette Police family has lost one of its finest members.  Lieutenant Rees was well known in the community and was dedicated to the safety and security of our citizens.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time of sadness.”

Troopers say they do not suspect that Rees was impaired, but routine toxicology samples were taken and are being submitted to the La. State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

This crash remains under investigation.

“Earlier today, I spoke to Chief Craft to express my condolences,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent.  “I let him know that our partners at the Lafayette Police Department and the Rees family are in the thoughts of the entire State Police family.”

Rees was a 23-year veteran of the Lafayette PD. He served as the administrative Lieutenant in Precinct 4 and is survived by his two children.