Vidalia, LA – Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) Deputy Genie Lee “BJ” Morace died on his way to work on Thursday, when his truck drove over a levee and crashed into the Mississippi River.
The fatal collision occurred at approximately 5 a.m. on a foggy stretch of Louisiana Highway 15, CPSO Chief Deputy David Hedrick said, according to the Associated Press.
Members of the community joined with deputies to conduct a search for the missing deputy, whose vehicle was located at approximately 11 am.
Several hours later, with the help of boats and a drone, the 38-year-old deputy’s body was recovered.
“It is with a heavy heart and deepest sorrow, we inform you of the death of our Deputy Genie Lee Morace Jr ‘BJ,’” the CPSO said in a Facebook post on Friday.
“It will be the little things that we remember, the smiles, the laughter, and although it is hard right now, these memories will become tools to push away the pain,” the post read. “Someone as special as BJ will never be forgotten and will remain in our hearts forever.
Sheriff Hedrick described Deputy Morace as a “fine, dedicated, hard-working deputy,” according to the Associated Press.
“We also offer a heartfelt thanks for your service,” the agency’s Facebook post read. “Rest in peace brother, we have the watch from here.”
Deputy Morace leaves behind his parents, three brothers, two sisters, grandmother, and many friends and extended family members, according to his obituary.
“BJ was a sweetheart and such a well-mannered young man,” Paula Smith wrote on the fallen deputy’s memorial page. “We will miss him visiting us on our deck. He would always stop and talk…Our thoughts and prayers are with his precious family.”
Deputy Morace was laid to rest on Monday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Genie Lee “BJ” Morace, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.