Opelousas officer dies in on-duty car wreck

An Opelousas police officer died early Sunday in a single-vehicle wreck.

State Troopers said Assistant Warden Peggy Sylvester, 50, died about 4:45 a.m. Sunday while on duty. Sylvester lost control of the Ford Expedition police vehicle she was driving while passing a car in the rain on La. 31. The vehicle left the road, went through a ditch and hit a tree.

Sylvester wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Landry Parish coroner.

Sylvester had worked for the Opelousas Police Department for three years. Before that, she worked one year for the Eunice Police Department and 10 years for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office.

She is survived by parents Clara and Peter Pickens and children Amber Sylvester, Rochelle Sanders and Richard Sanders.