Louisiana mayor running for re-election dies in Election Day wreck
ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KSLA/Gray News) - The incumbent mayor of Melville, who was running for re-election in the small south Louisiana town, died in a car crash on Election Day.
The Louisiana State Police reported Mayor Velma Hendrix, 84, died in a two-vehicle wreck just after 11 a.m. on Highway 190, according to KSLA.
Preliminary investigation details said Hendrix was sitting in the rear passenger seat of a 2008 Acura RDX when the car was struck by a 2015 Ram 2500 pickup truck at an intersection. According to the preliminary investigation, the driver of the pickup truck had failed to yield while trying to cross the highway.
She was reportedly not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Police reported Hendrix was taken to a hospital, where she later died.
The driver of the Acura, as well as three passengers, all sustained moderate to severe injuries, according to police.
The driver of the pickup truck, who was not injured, was cited for failure to yield from a stop sign and no seat belt. Police reported he gave a breath sample on-scene and showed no signs of intoxication.
A routine toxicology sample from the driver of the Acura has also been submitted for analysis.
The St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court reported qualifying for the mayoral race will reopen from Wednesday until Nov. 14. The election for the mayor of Melville will be held on Dec. 10.
If no one else qualifies before Nov. 14, Sheila Londerno, who secured 182, or 52% of 353 votes, will be declared mayor of Melville, according to the Louisiana Commissioner of Elections.
The wreck is still under investigation.
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