- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

An automobile accident on Tuesday claimed the life of former state Rep. Jimmy D. Long Sr.

Natchitoches Police Det. John Greely confirmed that Long died after being injured in the accident near his home in Natchitoches. Long was 84.

A Jeep Wrangler traveling west on University Parkway hit Long’s car shortly before noon as he pulled out of a private driveway, Greely said. The driver of the Jeep, a 16-year-old, was not identified because of his age. Greely didn’t know if the teen was cited in the crash.

Long served since 2001 as a member of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and a son, Jimmy Long Jr.

“His steadfast commitment to the Board and to higher education will be missed,” said Dan Reneau, interim University of Louisiana System president. “He was passionate about Northwestern State University, which was only a stone’s throw from his home. Mr. Long and I formed a friendship during my tenure as Louisiana Tech’s president and I share my deepest condolences with Ms. Dot, Jimmy Long Jr. and all those who loved him.”

Long also served eight terms in the Louisiana House, from 1968-2000, representing Winn and Natchitoches parishes. Because of his lengthy service, he was the dean of the House, chairing the body during House elections and budget debates. He also chaired the House Education Committee for 16 years. During his term, he worked with then Northwestern State University President Robert A. Alost to establish the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and the Louisiana Scholars’ College.

In 1997, Long was appointed to the original Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System to get the system started.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, in a statement, said Long dedicated his life to public service and “embodied the hardworking spirit of Louisiana.”

“He touched the lives of countless children and families across our state and his legacy will be felt for generations,” Edwards said. “Donna and I join the people of Louisiana in mourning Rep. Long’s passing and send our prayers to his family during this time.”

Long also worked as a grocer and a cattleman and was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in 2000.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

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