By jason brown
September 11, 2012
A school crossing guard’s death in Evangeline Parish on Thursday has prompted school officials to renew a request for a traffic signal at the intersection where the 60-year-old reserve sheriff’s deputy doing crossing-guard duties died after a vehicle struck him.
The fatal accident occurred at 7:30 a.m. at La. 10 and La. 376 when a vehicle drove into the path of another, causing a collision that forced a 2004 Honda driven by Kimberly Fontenot, 19, of Mamou to spin and strike Deputy John Granger, of Reddell.
Granger, a reserve deputy and crossing guard for the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, was directing traffic in front of Vidrine Elementary.
He died at the scene, according to State Police.
Granger was buried Saturday at the new St. Ann’s Cemetery following a funeral at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Mamou, according to his obituary.
The fatal crash is still under investigation and charges are pending the outcome of that investigation, State Police spokesman Trooper Stephen Hammons said last week.
Evangeline Parish School Superintendent Toni Hamlin said the collision has renewed concern over the volume of traffic at the intersection, Hamlin said.
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 heavy traffic and because both schools are located on state highways, Hamlin said.
The school system last petitioned the state Department of Transportation and Development to consider installing a traffic signal at the intersection about five years ago, Hamlin said.
The department conducted a traffic study and later informed the school system that there was not enough traffic volume to warrant a sigDnal, Hamlin said.
Deidra Lockhart, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Development, said Friday that the department sent a letter to the School Board on July 25, 2007, informing them that the traffic study revealed the area in question did not warrant the installation of a traffic signal.
Lockhart said data from that study is considered protected information and therefore could not be divulged.
By late Thursday morning, Hamlin said she had already received a request to look into the traffic signal again.
“We will petition again in light of what happened,” Hamlin said Thursday.