WEST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A strong and sturdy voice is silent in West Feliciana Parish, where community members are remembering the life of a school board member.
James White, 59, was struck by a car around 8 p.m. Thursday while he was walking along the side of Solitude Road, according to police.
"When I walked up, I saw him laying against the tree over there," said Dalvin White, son of the former school board member. "I took it real hard and my mother took it real hard."
Hollis Milton, the superintendent of West Feliciana Parish schools, said White fought for fairness and was almost always optimistic.
"He was not an overly vocal person, but when he spoke, everyone listened," Milton said.
White's son said his father had a special talent in the kitchen. Every time he called on the phone, he said, his father made sure to check that his son had eaten.
"Everybody around the community loved him. He would cook for different people, stuff like that," Dalvin White said.
A makeshift memorial, with flowers, a balloon and a sign, marks the location along Solitude Road where White was killed. White had concerns about how people drove on that road, fearing for the safety of neighborhood children. Across the street from the accident site is a speed limit sign, indicating 25 miles per hour.
A day after his death, the West Feliciana High School honored their lost leader by dedicating their Friday night football game to White's memory.
White was a fixture in the crowds at the football games. Not only was he a fan, but he was also a team grandpa. His two grandsons were players on the team. That night, West Feliciana took home a big win of 40-10 over U-High.
"You felt like there was a 12th man out there, you felt like those kids saw something in themselves to play and give in memory to Mr. White," Milton said.
That is a memory that friends and family say will have a lasting impact.
"If we can continue our focus on doing our absolute best for kids, we're going to continue to be a successful school system and community and I think that's just part of his legacy," Milton said.
After the accident, Tiffany Cage, 22, was arrested and booked into the West Feliciana Detention Center on one count of negligent homicide. The investigation continues and the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office is awaiting the results from toxicology tests currently at the State Police crime lab.
A funeral service for White is planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Magnolia Full Gospel Church. Community members are welcome.