Victim struck in front of Vidrine school
State troopers are investigating the Thursday morning death of a 60-year-old Evangeline Parish crossing guard who was struck and killed by a vehicle in front of Vidrine Elementary, an official said.
The incident occurred just before 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of La. 10 and La. 376, said Trooper Stephen Hammons, State Police spokesman.
Hammons said Deputy John Granger, of Reddell, was struck by a 2004 Honda driven by Kimberly Fontenot, 19, of Mamou, after Fontenot drove into the path of a 2003 Mazda sport utility vehicle driven by Arleen Soileau, 50, of Ville Platte.
After the collision, Fontenot’s vehicle spun and struck Granger, who was directing traffic at the intersection, Hammons said.
At the time of his death, Granger had been a reserve deputy and crossing guard for the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office for 3 years and 8 months, Hammons said.
Granger, who was wearing an orange reflective vest, was pronounced dead at the scene, Hammons said.
Both Fontenot and Soileau were transported to a hospital with minor injuries, Hammons said.
Charges are pending at the outcome of the investigation, Hammons said.
Evangeline Parish School Superintendent Toni Hamlin expressed sadness over Granger’s death Thursday.
“We’re very sorry for the loss of Mr. Granger, although Mr. Granger was not an employee of the Evangeline Parish School System,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin said she believed Granger had been working as a crossing guard in that intersection for a couple of years. She said he went to work for the Sheriff’s Office after he retired from the State Department of Transportation and Development.
The Sheriff’s Office provides part-time school crossing guards at the intersection near Vidrine Elementary and at Bayou Chicot Elementary, which is on La. 167, because of the volume of traffic and because both schools are located on state highways, Hamlin said.
“Anytime you have an accident in or around a school facility, it’s disturbing, especially when a person is working part-time, trying to keep the kids safe,” Hamlin said.
Hammons reminded motorists Thursday to remain vigilant as they travel through school zones and mindful of the reduced speed limits around schools.