Updated on 04/25/2014 3:06PM

Louisiana racing official Jerry Meaux dies in car crash

Jerry Meaux, 74, died when a car crossed the center line of a highway near Lafayette, La., and collided with the truck he was driving.

Jerry Meaux, chairman of the Louisiana Racing Commission since 2008, died Thursday afternoon following a head-on car collision near Lafayette, La., according to a release issued by the Louisiana State Police. He was 74.

Meaux was pronounced dead at the scene after the truck he was driving was struck by an oncoming vehicle that crossed the center line of LA Highway 342. The crash is under investigation. Blaire Duhon, the 22-year-old driver of the vehicle that hit Meaux, was arrested for DWI, vehicular homicide, and driving left of center, according to the release.

Meaux was a longtime horseman and a resident of Duson, La. He began training in the early 1960s, getting his start with Quarter Horses and racing throughout Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico, according to information provided by his family. Meaux transitioned to Thoroughbreds in the late 1970s. He later gave up his owner/trainer license when he was appointed commission chairman in 2008, by Gov. Bobby Jindal. Meaux had previously served as a commissioner on the Louisiana panel from 1996 through 2004, when appointed by Gov. Mike Foster.

Meaux is survived by his wife, Betty, five children, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Of his four sons, William and Steve are involved in racing. William is a trainer and Steve works within the breeding industry.

A funeral Mass for Meaux will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette, La. Visitations will be held Sunday and Monday at Delhomme Funeral Homes in Lafayette, La.