Woman who jumped off bridge was former teacher
Remembered for her religious spirit
According to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, police received a call at 6:43 p.m. on Thursday that Debbie Johnson, of Destrehan, had stopped her vehicle in the emergency lane on top of the bridge. A witness told authorities that she saw Johnson, 55, exit the car, run to the railing and jump into the water below.
Her body was recovered later that night near Ama.
Johnson began teaching at St. Charles Borromeo in 1985 and taught until 2009. She retired because of health problems, according to Ronald Rodrigue, administrative assistant at the school.
“Even though she was not Catholic, she came to our masses here and she was so loud in her singing and praising,” Rodrigue said. “We assumed she was Catholic all of this time.”
Rodrigue said he coached Johnson’s daughter in T-ball and that Johnson had a lot of team spirit.
“She was animated all the time. When her daughter would hit the ball she would run along with her to first base,” Rodrigue said. “She was hooting and hollering and everyone would remember her being very spirited.”
Johnson was the fourth person who has jumped off of the Hale Boggs Bridge and died in less than a year.
Last September, a disabled man parked at the top of the bridge and used a wheelchair to get to the bridge’s railing. After he hoisted himself onto the railing, an officer tried to talk him down for several minutes, but the man eventually fell into the water.
Last October, 20-year-old Gretna resident Jake Bodden jumped off of the Hale Boggs.
His body was recovered by family members four days later.Jack Culotta, who was the managing partner of The Culotta Law Firm, jumped off the bridge last month. His body was pulled out of the river near the ADM Growmark grain elevator.
A witness saw Culotta pull over his white Ford Explorer at the top of the bridge, exit the SUV and jump over the railing without any hesitation.Reporter Kyle Barnett contributed to this article.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
In order to ease the concerns of residents who live near Bunge North...
A 20-year-old St. Rose man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder...
After 15 years, Mary desBordes will step down as director of the St. Charles Parish...
The home of Elmira Blanks in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of St. Rose is...
The St. Charles Parish Council has awarded a $116,724 contract to create a new...
Destrehan’s best football season in years came to an end on Friday with a 35-7 loss...
Donaldsonville Marble & Granite Company has been providing service in time of need since 1875. We help simplify choosing the right memorial so its not so overwhelming. Our products range from memorial vases, to custom mausoleums and special accessories.
St. Rose man arrested in connection with shooting death of teen - 3065 views
A 20-year-old St. Rose man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the May 29, 2012 slaying of 19-year-old Jared Mealey.