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Re: Passing of Allan Richard, Jr.
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I've just accessed and read the tragic and shocking story of Allan's death at the Shreveport Times website. I'm posting the content of the article here and I've also added an announcement and link in the ad box at the upper-right corner of all of the message boards.

Jim Martin

From ShreveportTimes.Com

Shreveport historian, author dies in DeSoto wreck
December 8, 2006
By Vickie Welborn

GLOSTER "" Historians and others who proudly wear the label of Civil War buffs lost a friend and contributor Thursday when a three-vehicle crash blamed on a dropped cell phone claimed the life of a Shreveport man.

Allan C. Richard Jr., 60, of the 200 block of Forest Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident that was reported at 11:10 a.m. on state Highway 5 and Ferguson Road, about three miles east of U.S. Highway 171 in Gloster.

Charges are pending against Mike McCauley, 35, of San Angustine, Texas, the driver of a saltwater tractor-trailer who state police say caused the accident. McCauley told troopers he dropped his cell phone on the floorboard and was attempting to retrieve it when he lost control of his westbound rig in a curve. As he attempted to gain control, the tractor-trailer flipped on the two-lane highway and rolled onto a pickup and then struck Richard's car.

"He will really be missed by a lot of people," said close friend Gary Joiner.

Pickup driver Henry G. Washington, 46, of the 200 block of Washington Avenue in Gloster, was flown to LSU Hospital in Shreveport, where he is listed in serious condition. Washington had to be extricated from his vehicle.

McCauley received minor injuries and refused medical treatment. Tests confirmed alcohol did not contribute to the accident.

All three men were wearing seat belts, state police said.

Richard, an engineer with Balar and Associates, was in a company vehicle. John Neilson, DeSoto Waterworks District No. 1 administrator, suspects Richard had been to the Ranchland Acres subdivision north of Grand Cane to inspect a project prior to the accident. Neilson was to meet with Richard today to review the progress of the water system expansion project.

"It's a terrible thing to happen," Neilson said.

While engineering was Richard's profession, his love was history, Joiner said. And it was not just the Civil War, even though Richard, like Joiner, is a past president of the North Louisiana Civil War Round Table.

"His big passions were split between the sea and the Civil War. Allan came from a line of sea captains out of Camden, Maine," said Joiner, who along wife Marilyn frequently joined the Richards on vacations in Maine and other states.

Richard and his wife, Mary Margaret Higginbotham Richard, a librarian at Stoner Hill, were "diligent researchers" who co-wrote "The Defense of Vicksburg: A Louisiana Chronicle." It highlighted Civil War history as seen through the eyes of a common soldier by telling the story through diaries, letters and other memoirs.

A Mississippi native and 1970 Louisiana Tech University graduate, Richard also was a devoted member of Noel Methodist Church, where he served as an usher and was a founder of the historic Wesleyan service, Marilyn Joiner said.

"He was just a very original kind of guy. He was my best friend," Gary Joiner said.

In addition to his wife, Richard is also survived by two married sons, Alan Richard, of Dallas, and James Richard, of Shreveport.

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Passing of Allan Richard, Jr.
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