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News: Driver killed on way to pick out clothes for momís funeral

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    Driver killed on way to pick out clothes for momís funeral

    Driver killed on way to pick out clothes for momís funeral

    Raymond Legendre
    Staff Writer, houmatoday.com

    Published: Monday, July 28, 2008 at 3:00 p.m.
    Last Modified: Monday, July 28, 2008 at 2:23 p.m.

    Abby Tabor/Staff
    A Louisiana state trooper looks over a crash scene Sunday evening on La. 308 near Percy Brown Road just outside of Thibodaux.

    THIBODAUX, LOUISIANA -- Terry LeBlanc was headed home Sunday to pick out clothes he would wear at his motherís funeral. Today, relatives, already grieving for his mother, are making funeral plans for him.

    The 36-year-old Thibodaux mechanic was killed when the red 1990 Corvette he was riding in struck a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am head-on at around 6 p.m., on La. 308 near Percy Brown Road.

    Memorial services for his mother, Shirley LeBlanc, who died Friday, were scheduled to begin this morning at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral.

    "His family has had enough tragedy burying one person, now they are burying two people," a family friend, Sue Theriot, said. She described Terry LeBlanc as a "sentimental, down-to-earth person."

    Police at the scene said the Corvetteís driver, Dean Price, 42, of Schriever, pulled onto the roadís shoulder during a downpour.

    When he returned to the road, he moved left into the southbound lane, they said. Shortly thereafter, Price crossed the center line and struck a Grand-Am driven by 55-year-old Katherine LeBlanc of Thibodaux, troopers said.

    Terry LeBlanc was pronounced dead at the scene by the Lafourche Parish Coronerís Office. He was not wearing a seat belt, Troop C spokesman Gilbert Dardar said this morning.

    It is unknown to police whether the two LeBlancs involved in the crash were related.

    The wreck occurred along a two-lane stretch of road lined by oak trees and a narrow shoulder on each side.

    Katherine LeBlanc, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, Leonard said. She is suspected of alcohol use, Dardar said, adding charges are pending until results return from the State Police Crime Lab.

    Price voluntarily submitted to a breathalyzer test and passed it, Sgt. Troy Leonard of State Police said. Price declined to speak about the wreck or his friend.

    Price could also face charges as a result of the crash, Dardar said, though that decision will come at a later date after the investigative report is completed.

    The impactís force turned the red Corvetteís engine into a jumble of mangled parts. The carís hood lay on the wet pavement some 20 feet away.

    The Grand-Amís front turned inward, with the portion of the hood nearest to the passenger side sporting a warped upward appearance.

    A handful of LeBlancís friends gathered a short distance from the spot where the two cars came to rest in the middle of the road.

    Sue Theriot and her husband, Mark, drove from their St. Charles home after receiving a phone call about the wreck.

    They both recalled his generosity and his ability to fix things with his hands. LeBlanc worked as a mechanic fixing tractors, cane cutters and cars, they said.

    "You would see him at midnight at a store that was open 24 hours, and heíd be dirty because he had been working on something," Theriotís husband said, adding he rarely saw LeBlanc wearing clean pants.

    Theriot added she and LeBlanc grew up together.

    "When youíre from St. Charles, you stay there," she said. "Itís kind of like a magnet; you donít leave."

    The crash scene also drew neighbors who came out of their houses to see the remnants of the violent sound they heard.

    "It sounded like a thunderclap," Allen Ordoyne said, noting he knew it was a bad wreck right away. "No horn, no nothing, no brakes, no nothing."

    Police did not cite speed as a factor in the crash. Ordoyne said the stretch of the La. 308 where the wreck happened had been fortunate not to have had more deaths, due to peopleís disregard for the 55-mph speed limit.

    "There have been numerous times where weíve yelled at people to slow down," he said. "They think itís a raceway right here."

    Staff Writer Raymond Legendre can be reached at 448-7617 or raymond.legendre@houmatoday.com.
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