An 82-year-old auxiliary sheriff’s deputy was killed Friday in Louisiana after his stopped patrol vehicle was hit from behind by a car as the deputy was diverting traffic near an earlier accident involving two trucks on an expressway, officials said.
Lonnie Thacker Sr., 82, a Caddo Parish auxiliary deputy, was on Interstate 49 directing traffic away from the site of a Friday morning accident that blocked the length of the highway for several hours, KTBS-TV said.
When the second accident happened, the northbound inside lane had barely reopened just before noon. Cindy Chadwick, the spokeswoman for parish sheriff, informed the TV station that Thacker was sitting in his patrol car when the back of his patrol vehicle was hit by a lady driving a Kia Sorento.
Chadwick said that the lady, whose identity has not been disclosed, had minor injuries and was treated at a hospital. Thacker was identified as the auxiliary deputy murdered in a coroner’s statement, which said that an autopsy had been scheduled.
According to the reports, the highway was eventually completely reopened about 3:30 p.m.
According to KTBS, the sheriff’s office said that Thacker joined its auxiliary program in 2001, which involves trained volunteers assisting the police without compensation. Thacker volunteered over 500 hours a year, according to the study, doing tasks such as funeral escorts, traffic control, and neighborhood patrols.
The deputy was the second law enforcement officer in northwest Louisiana to die on the job in the last two weeks. Sgt. Billy Collins Jr. of the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office died July 9 after being shot while responding to a call at his part-time work as a police officer in the town of Doyline.