Motorcyclist rode to rest

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

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Travis Lessard, 53, was known for two things: his motorcycle and his nickname “Hollywood.” Lessard may not have lived his entire life perfect, but he did leave a lasting impression on his family and friends. He just liked to have a good time and ride his bike.

Jenna Guerra, Lessard’s daughter said her father was always a biker.

“He didn’t ride with certain groups, but he always rode,” Guerra said.

His last ride cost him his life. Lessard and his brother, Joseph Lessard, were riding to get some food for a regular family Sunday dinner. Louisiana State Troopers reported shortly before 1:30 p.m. on September 14 a fatal crash involving a motorcycle that occurred on LA Hwy 22 east of LA Hwy 16 in Livingston Parish. The crash took Lessard’s life and and seriously injured his brother.

Lessard was riding a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on LA Hwy 16, while Lessard’s 52-year-old brother was riding a 2009 custom built motorcycle next to him. As the Lessard’s traveled eastbound, a tree limb fell and struck both riders.

Travis Lessard was transported from the scene to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Gonzales where he succumbed to injuries received as a result of being struck by the tree limb. Joseph Lessard suffered serious injuries, and was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

“We got the call from my cousin who lives in Maurepas, and we quickly went to the hospital,” Guerra said.

Guerra said he got his nickname because he looked like Willy Nelson. Now that Hollywood is gone, Guerra said his bike still remains.

“It’s standing on both wheels and is still running,” Guerra said. “There was minor damage to his bike. It’s not going anywhere. We gave it to my younger brother and I’m guessing he’s going to try and ride it now.”

Guerra said he father really didn’t look like he had major injuries from what they could see.

“My dad and his brother talked at the scene and checked on each other and then my uncle turned around and they were doing CPR on him,” Guerra said.

Visitation for Lessard was Thursday at the Ascension Funeral Home, and Friday at St. Theresa Catholic Church. Father Eric V. Gyan conducted the Mass of Christian burial. Burial in Richardson Cemetery, St. Amant.

Lessard is survived by his stepfather, Tebo Carmello Sr.; two daughters: Jenna L. Guerra and husband, Bert and Renee Anstatt; two sons: Travis Lessard Jr. and Joseph "Joey" Lessard; one sister, Roxie Lessard; three brothers: Joseph Lessard, Robert Lessard, and Chad Lessard; former wife, Donna Braud and fiancée, Carol "Peanut" Lavigne; and eight grandchildren. Proceeded in death by his parents, Virgie and Joseph Lessard Jr.; brother, Tebo Carmello Jr.; and friend, Shelly Stevens.