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BATON ROUGE- A portion of Highway 190 has renamed in honor of a state trooper killed in the line of duty 60 years ago.
On March 24, 1958, 33-year-old Trooper Francis Zinna was struck by a suspect's vehicle while manning a roadblock.
State police were assisting the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office in the 100-mph chase and Zinna was one of the troopers tasked with setting up a roadblock on the east side of the Mississippi River Bridge. Apparently, the driver of the fleeing vehicle saw the roadblock and turned back west on U.S. 190.
Zinna and his riding partner set up another roadblock on U.S. 190 about one and a half miles west of the Mississippi River Bridge. According to Zinna's partner, they had stepped out of their unit and were standing on the neutral ground with Zinna holding a flare.
As the fleeing vehicle approached Zinna, the driver apparently hit the brakes and the vehicle skidded to the side. The right rear end of the vehicle struck Zinna. He was transported to the Baton Rouge General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The driver was charged with negligent homicide.
A ceremony was held Friday near that same stretch of the roadway where Zinna was struck. A sign placed along the road now marks it as the Trooper Francis C Zinna Memorial Highway.
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