Fire chief killed in I-10 bus wreck laid to rest

Caresse Jackman talks about the funeral procession for Spencer Chauvin, who was killed in a wreck on I-10 Sunday.

EDGARD, La. – It was a heartbreaking day in St. John Parish Thursday afternoon as the community honored one of their own.

St. John District Fire Chief Spencer Chauvin was laid to rest after a deadly crash over the weekend on Interstate 10.

The entire community took time out to show their love and appreciation for Chauvin.

Police officers and people living in St. John's Parish lined the streets honoring their fallen fireman.

"I couldn't imagine telling my kids their daddy is not coming home,” Jennifer Brady, a Reserve resident, said. “You know, I could cry thinking about that."

Chauvin was working a car wreck on I-10 Sunday. Police have said a private rental bus hit his fire truck, knocking him and two other firefighters over the bridge. Brady and her sister watched tearfully as the procession drove by.

“I didn't know him personally, but I did know his sister Brittany,” said Jessica Loupe. “She used to do my hair. Great family, loving guy. "

Family and friends privately mourned Chauvin during a visitation service at St. John Community Center in LaPlace. St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel, who knew Chauvin for several years, described him as fun-loving guy, God-fearing and selfless.

"Man, he was an everyday guy,” said Roussel, holding back tears. “(He) just wanted to help everybody.”

Outside the church, a large American flag flapped in the air. St. George Fire Department District Chief Jack Jones held it high using their firetruck to honor their brother.

"He's doing the same thing that we do,” said Jones. “Every fire department does. They were operating out on an accident on the interstate, they followed through procedures. They were doing everything they were supposed to do."

As the community said goodbye, those who knew him and loved him said they won't forget the impact he made on their lives.

“He was a committed fire chief, committed fireman and it's hard to replace a guy like that ’cause he gave it all,” said Roussel. “He gave it his all.”

Chauvin leaves behind a wife and two children.

Meanwhile, another victim died Thursday from his injuries. Vontravous Kelly, 33, was in the same car as Jermain Starr, who died Sunday. Both men are from Moss Point, Mississippi.

The other two firefighters injured in the crash remain hospitalized.

St. John Firefighter Nick Saale was seriously injured and was taken to University Medical Center with a broken leg, fractured ribs and cuts and bruises. Firefighter William Beal was also transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.

WWL-TV also reached out to officials for an update on their conditions and are waiting to hear back. 
 

(© 2016 WWL)


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