Louisiana Mayor Running For Reelection Dies On Election Day

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Devan Bugbee Contributor
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The mayor of Melville, Lousiana, was tragically killed while she was up for reelection Tuesday after a vehicle fatally struck her ride.

Melville Mayor Velma Hendrix died after Ram pickup trick collided with the Acura compact SUV in which the 84-year-old incumbent Democrat was riding, KSLA reported. The Ram, operated by Columbia, Louisiana, resident Michael Cook, reportedly failed to yield to oncoming traffic, resulting in him crashing into the passenger side of the SUV. Cook was not wearing a seatbelt, showed no signs of intoxication and was uninjured.

Hendrix, who was not wearing a seatbelt either, was transported to a local hospital where she later died of her injuries, police told the outlet. The driver did wear a seatbelt and sustained minor injuries during the collision, the outlet noted.

While protocol requires the town of less than 1,000 people to cancel local elections and reopen a qualifying period, Hendrix’s close friend and former student Linda Haynes will temporarily take the reigns as interim mayor until a special election can be held on Dec. 10, KATC reported. If no additional candidates are able to qualify for the new election before Nov. 14, then the candidate who received the most votes on Tuesday will become mayor, according to the outlet.

Official election results do not show how many votes Hendrix received, but Sheila “Sam” Londerno — also a Democrat — received 52% of the non-Hendrix vote, making her the winner if no new candidates emerge. (RELATED: Congressional Seat Held By New York Lieutenant Gov. Antonio Delgado Flips Red)

“Things happen in life, you have to be prepared to deal with them, you have to step up to the plate and I think she’d given me enough to enable us to continue,” Haynes told the outlet.