12/13/2006 12:00AM

Jockey Jerri Nichols dies in auto accident


Jockey Jerri Nichols was killed in a car accident on Interstate-10 near Lake Charles, La., on Wednesday night, Bobby Granger, agent for her husband, jockey Kirk LeBlanc, confirmed. LeBlanc was in the car with Nichols, but escaped serious injury, was released from a local hospital and went home with family, said Granger.

LeBlanc had seven mounts on Wednesday night’s card at Delta Downs, the Vinton, La., track that is located near Lake Charles.

Nichols and LeBlanc were married three years ago. Both have long been based in Louisiana.

"They were real, real close," Granger said. "It’s going to be tough. He’s got a long road ahead of him."

Nichols won the first race of her career at Delta, on March 3, 1988. She had not ridden recently as she was healing from a broken wrist. During her career, Nichols won 1,466 races and had mount earnings of $10,543,728.