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Vietnam vet killed while bicycling near home in Prairieville

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PRAIRIEVILLE - Sheriff’s deputies in Ascension Parish are searching for clues that could identify the driver who hit and killed a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran early Saturday morning.

Investigators say Daniel LaFleur Sr. was riding his bicycle away from a polling station at Prairieville Primary on Parker Road around 7 a.m. on Oct. 24.

His family is preparing to say their final goodbyes, but true closure won't come until they have answers.

"To know that everything was over and done, to make it easier to move on," said Daniel LeFleur Jr., the victim's son.

LaFleur’s son and daughter describe their father as a “man who lived his life to the fullest."

"He wanted to do lots of sailing," said LeFleur Jr., "about a year ago he took a sailing sabbatical and jumped in the boat and sailed the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama."

A skilled carpenter, Lefleur was well known by the community for the life-sized props he built for several high school events and productions.

"He was just always around helping and he wouldn't hear of us hiring someone to do what he thought he could do himself," said Coila Esposito, the victim's daughter.

In the days prior to the tragic bicycle accident, LaFleur had returned to his Prairieville home after visiting family in Ohio and Florida. On Friday night, he told his daughter that after his Saturday morning exercise bike ride, he would be joining his family on LSU’s campus outside of Tiger Stadium to enjoy the tailgating atmosphere.

The investigation into the deadly crash remains ongoing as detectives attempt to gather more information about the motorist involved in the wreck.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who was traveling in the area on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 24 between 6:40 a.m. and 7:10 a.m. to contact deputies at (225) 621-4636 or send a text to 847411 for APSO’s anonymous tip line from any cellular device.

LeFleur's funeral will be held tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 30, at Most Blessed Sacrament Church at 11:00 a.m. and will be open to the public.

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