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Louisiana mayor killed in crash on election day

2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago Wednesday, November 09 2022 Nov 9, 2022 November 09, 2022 4:35 PM November 09, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

MELVILLE - An incumbent mayor running for re-election in a small Louisiana town died after she was involved in a crash just hours before the polls closed on election day. 

According to Louisiana State Police, 84-year-old Velma Hendrix's car was T-boned on US 190 after a driver in a pickup truck ran a stop sign while crossing the highway around 11 a.m. Tuesday. 

Hendrix, the mayor of Melville, was in the rear passenger seat and was not wearing a seat belt at the time. She was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and died later that same day. Four other people riding in the same car as her were also taken to hospitals with various levels of injuries. 

Police said the driver of the pickup truck, Michael Cook, showed no signs of being impaired, and he was ticketed for failing to yield at a stop sign and driving without a seat belt. 

The Louisiana Secretary of State's Office says Hendrix pulled in more votes than her two challengers, though the election was poised to head to a runoff. After her death, votes for her were not counted in the mayoral race.

The St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court said qualification for the mayoral race would reopen until Monday, with a special election planned for Dec. 10. If no one else qualifies for the race by Monday, Sheila Londerno — who had the second-most votes behind Hendrix — will win the election by default. 

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