Louisiana mayor running for re-election killed in crash hours before polls close

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ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — The mayor of a Louisiana parish running for re-election was killed in an Election Day crash just hours before the polls were set to close.

Melville Mayor Velma D. Hendrix, 84, was involved in a two-vehicle crash just before 2 p.m. CT near Port Barre, roughly 33 miles northeast of Lafayette, according to the Louisiana State Police.

Police say a man driving a Ram pickup truck south on LA 741 failed to yield as he tried to cross the westbound lanes of U.S. 190. He then allegedly collided with the passenger side of an SUV traveling west on U.S. 190.

Hendrix was riding in the rear of the SUV on the passenger side.

The driver of the SUV and three additional passengers suffered moderate to critical injuries and were transported to local hospitals for treatment.

Hendrix died as a result of the crash, according to the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office.

The man driving the pickup was not injured, according to police, and had no signs of impairment. He has been cited for failure to yield and not wearing a seat belt.

Hendrix was running for re-election in Tuesday’s election against challengers Sheila “Sam” Londerno and Caretta Robertson. With 100% reporting, Loderno is projected to win in the Melville mayoral race as of 10 p.m. CT Tuesday.



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