While not a line-of-duty death or injury, Louisiana Battalion Chief Thomas Ledet experienced the worst call of his life when he responded to a fatal vehicle crash involving his son.
Reed Ledet, 22, veered his personal vehicle off the highway shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday, struck a tree and was ejected from the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The younger Ledet followed his father into the fire service – both served on the Little Caillou Volunteer Fire Department.
Little Caillou Fire Chief Marty Thibodeaux said that Thomas Ledet and his wife live in the firehouse and that Reed had been a fixture at the fire station since his birth.
“Reed’s daddy actually responded to the scene. As he bent down over the patient, he was told it was his son, Chief Marty Thibodeaux told Houma Today. “We did try to revive him for a while. It was just really devastating.
“He’s always been an active member of the fire department since the days he was a junior firefighter. I’ve been fire chief for about 25 years, and he’s been here this whole time.”
The chief said Reed Ledet was a hard worker who took training serious and loved to help people. At 22, he was an EMT and one of the department’s instructors.
Grand Caillou Fire Chief Shawn Bumm said Ledet’s passion, friendly personality and tireless work ethic will be sorely missed. Ledet fought fire for Bumm’s department before joining Little Caillou full time.
“He always had a smile on his face, and every time we had to do a fire prevention lesson he wanted to go out there and show the kids and teach people,” Bumm told Houma Today. “He was very passionate about the job. He lived and breathed fire. If there was a fire and he could get to it, he was coming to help.”
Crash investigators are working to determine why Ledet’s truck left the road. He was not wearing a seat belt.