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'Hearts heavy' with passing of La. deputy

Deputy Randall L. Benoit, 41, was killed in a car wreck Wednesday

Duty Death: Randall L. Benoit - [Lake Charles, Louisiana]

By PoliceOne Staff

LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy died after an early morning collision Wednesday.

Deputy Randall L. Benoit, 41, was driving his department-issued vehicle on duty when a Ford Focus driven by Charles Harrell, 28, struck the cruiser, causing a third vehicle to rear-end the patrol car moments later, according to KPLC TV. The third vehicle kept traveling and struck a pickup in the other lane, sources said.

According to reports, Benoit was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. He succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital where he was transported for treatment.

Police and the community mourn the passing of the police veteran who served in various divisions — Corrections, Patrol, Detectives, Warrants, and Safe School — during his 18 years with the Sheriff's Office, the Sulphur Daily News reported.  He was working in the Civil Division at the time of the crash.

“Our hearts are heavy this morning with the passing of Randy,” Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. “He was a great asset to our department and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult time.”

Harrell was seriously injured and will be cited for driving left of center and driving without a seatbelt. The two other drivers sustained minor injuries.

The crash is under investigation.

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