By Moira Ritter | The Charlotte Observer
A Louisiana mayor who was up for re-election was killed in a car crash on Election Day, according to officials.
Louisiana state troopers said Velma D. Hendrix, 84, died in a two-car collision on U.S. Highway 190 near Louisiana Highway 741 on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Hendrix was the mayor of Melville, a town about 50 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, and up for re-election, according to the St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court, Charles Jagneaux.
Troopers said the wreck occurred around 11 a.m. when a 2015 Ram 2500 pickup truck failed to stop at a stop sign, crossed both lanes of Highway 190, and struck the passenger side of a 2008 Acura RDX. Hendrix was on the left side in the back row of the Acura. She was not wearing a seat belt.
Hendrix was transported to a hospital in critical condition, according to a news release from the state highway patrol. She died at the hospital.
Four others in the Acura suffered “moderate to critical injuries,” troopers said. The driver of the Ram pickup truck was also not wearing a seat belt, but he was not injured. He had no signs of impairment.
The truck driver was cited for failure to yield from a stop sign and no seat belt, troopers said. The crash remains under investigation.
The Melville community is mourning the loss of Hendrix and preparing to move forward with a revised election plan.
New candidates will be eligible to qualify for the mayoral election between Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Monday, Nov. 14, Jagneaux said in a Facebook post. The new election will be held Dec. 10. If no other candidate qualifies before Monday, though, the candidate with the most votes from Nov. 8 will win the seat.
Hendrix “was a pillar of the community,” one person wrote on Facebook.
“She was a wonderful woman, so thankful to have known her!!!” another posted.
Source: Orange County Register