SLIDELL, LA — Saturday morning, people in Slidell made their way to the First United Methodist Church to see a collection of classic cars at the Pumpkin Patch Car Show.
At the show, not far from a row of Corvettes, Saint Tammany firefighters parked one of their trucks. But the truck wasn’t there just to be seen. It was part of a competition.
Firefighters and St. Tammany deputies each brought a team of their strongest to see which department could pull the fire truck the fastest. It was a ten, maybe 15 yard stretch of pavement, but it took everything the men could muster to get the truck to the finish line.
Then, after each side had its chance, a voice rose above the laughs and cheers, “One more for Ray!”
The firefighters and deputies lined up one more time, gripped the line with all their might, and pulled the truck a final time to the finish line, faster than either of the previous efforts.
“For Ray!” a chorus of cheers went up after the truck rolled past the line.
“Ray” referred to Ray Dupuy, a lieutenant with the Slidell Police Department, was killed in an off-duty motorcycle crash last week. According to Louisiana State Police, the agency that’s handling the investigation, Dupuy was traveling on Brownswitch Road when, according to troopers, an oncoming car made a turn into his path.
Dupuy’s motorcycle hit the passenger side of the car. Troopers say he was wearing his helmet but sustained severe injuries. He died at the hospital. Troopers say driver impairment was not a factor in the crash. They cited the driver of the car for improper turning and say the investigation remains open.
Dupuy’s funeral is set for Tuesday, September 26, at the Slidell City Auditorium. According to Slidell police, friends and family are invited to attend the funeral which begins at noon. Visitation begins at 9:00 that same morning.
A police procession will follow the funeral. It is expected to begin at about 1:00 Tuesday afternoon at the auditorium and wind its way through the Olde Town area of Slidell before traveling to the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery. The department is encouraging people who wish to pay their respects to Lt. Dupuy to line the route.
Internment at the cemetery is scheduled for 1:30. Afterward, all are invited to a reception back at the Slidell City Auditorium.