A Marrero woman was killed Monday morning when a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy crashed his cruiser into her 2011 Ford Crown Victoria at Barataria Boulevard and Mount Rushmore Drive.
Mary Truxillo, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the crash, which occurred about 9:20 a.m. She apparently turned east from Mount Rushmore onto Barataria and was struck by the vehicle driven by Deputy Jean-Fritz Cadet, who was traveling west on Barataria.
Cadet was responding to a call about a burglary in progress but had turned off his lights when word came over the police radio that the suspects were gone, JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said. Moments later, his cruiser struck Truxillo’s car after she pulled into the intersection as he entered it.
Cadet suffered several lacerations and a broken leg. He was taken to West Jefferson Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
Fortunato said the Sheriff’s Office does not yet know how fast Cadet was driving and is still investigating the incident.
Louis Mitchell, who lives nearby on Mount McKinley Street, was getting ready to walk his dog when he heard the crash. He rushed to the scene, and he and another man helped Cadet out of his cruiser and to the side of the road.
Mitchell said the deputy had abrasions on his arm and right leg and expressed disbelief that the woman had pulled into the intersection as he sped through it.
“He was dazed,” Mitchell said. “He was shook up so bad. He said, ‘I don’t understand how she could pull out like that.’ ”
Mitchell then ran to the other vehicle, where the driver’s side window was shattered and he saw Truxillo gasp for her last breaths.
“She was in bad condition,” he said. “I couldn’t stand to look at it too much. I had to get away from it.”
He said he “knew at that moment she was dead.”
Mitchell and others said they heard the siren of one Sheriff’s Office car pass through the intersection first, followed later by the sound of the crash.
Several neighborhood residents said the intersection is dangerous, particularly in times of peak traffic.
Mount Rushmore, they said, is one of three streets connecting to Barataria there that need traffic lights.
“They need to put a light here, at College (Parkway) and at Pritchard (Road),” Michael Rodriguez said.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.