Former longtime Independence Mayor Phillip Domiano suffered severe injuries in an accident Monday on his farm and is in serious condition after being transported to North Oaks Medical Center, Tangipahoa Parish Councilman Carlo Bruno said.
Family told Mayor Michael Raguso and Bruno that Domiano stepped out of his vehicle, mistakenly thinking it was in neutral, and the vehicle backed over him sometime between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Bruno said Domiano was in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“Apparently, he went to step out of his truck, and thought the truck was in park and it was actually in reverse,” Bruno said. “(The family) thinks the door knocked him over and he fell underneath the truck and the truck actually ran over him.”
Bruno said the family is torn up over what happened.
“I know they’ve been at the hospital since it happened,” Bruno said.
“The injuries are pretty severe.”
Domiano is in critical condition, said Melanie Zaffuto, the communications director of North Oaks Health System, a community hospital organization that presides over North Oaks Hospital and others.
Independence Chief of Police Frank Edwards said he did not respond to the incident, which occurred outside of the town limits.
He said, to his understanding, someone on the farm found Domiano and drove him to the nearby hospital.
At Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting, Raguso asked residents to remember Domiano in their prayers, Edwards said.
“We are certainly pulling for him to overcome this,” the police chief said of Domiano, who served for 28 years until 2008.
Raguso later told The Advocate that he did not know Domiano’s present condition.
“I talked to someone who was at the hospital, and he said he was doing pretty good … but I don’t know if he was conscious or not.”
Bruno said Domiano had suffered broken bones and internal injuries.
“There is a possibility that he will have to undergo a couple of surgeries,” Bruno said. “It is a tragedy. It’s really sad that somebody, it’s just a freak accident. I’ve known Phillip a long time.”