Accident claims life of Gramercy man

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005


Staff Reporter

VACHERIE – A single vehicle crash in Vacherie claimed the life Wednesday morning of an ABC Technical College student and employee of Belmont Lumber and Supply Co. Inc, from Gramercy.

Services have been arranged in Gramercy.

Aaron Joseph “Bird” Berthelot, 21, of Gramercy, was driving a 1986 Ford delivery style flatbed truck, (carrying a load of wood), northbound on LA 20 in Vacherie, when Berthelot lost control of the vehicle and ran it off the roadway to the right.

Berthelot seemed to have over-corrected in an attempt to regain control investigators say, but then the vehicle crossed over the center line and veered off the roadway to the left.

Once off the roadway the vehicle overturned in a ditch, and landing on its rooftop. Berthelot was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to State Trooper Matt Trahan.

Berthelot’s mother Delores “Dee” Berthelot remembers her son as a “happy go-lucky man, who touched many hearts and willing to help anyone, including area neighbors.”

Belmont Lumber, in Hester, Manager Trudy Carnaggio said Berthelot was a “wonderful, wonderful kid and a great person.” Carnaggio said he got along with everyone and always expressed his love for being on the road.

Berthelot’s former Lutcher High School Head Football Coach, Tim Detiller, said Berthelot was a starter for three years as an offensive center for the team.

“He was a big teddy bear,” said Detiller. “He had a big heart and was a good kid. People always say that at these times, but he really was.”

Detiller said he remembered Berthelot as a very committed football player and even organized fundraisers to help other football players to go to a camp just for linemen with him.

Penny Gafford, a Lutcher High School teacher, taught Berthelot for two years in video/media and foods and nutrition.

“He was a loyal friend,” said Gafford. “He always made sure his work was done on time, so he could help other students with their work. He loved to help other people.”

Services for Aaron will be held today at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gramercy, with internment in the St. Joseph Mausoleum in Paulina.

Visitation will be from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

H.C. Alexander Funeral Home of Lutcher is in charge of arrangements.