Des Allemands woman killed on way to fundraiser

Karen Duran was on her way to a fundraiser to help a local family who recently lost their toddler when she was killed in an automobile accident on U.S. Highway 90 on Friday.
The cause of the wreck is under investigation by the Louisiana State Police.

Duran’s daughter, Karmen, wept as she explained she was supposed to be the one handling the luncheon, but her own daughter needed help that day so her mother eagerly filled in for her. Karen was en route to the Des Allemands Volunteer Fire Department at 5:15 a.m. when her truck was struck by an Infinity I35.

She was declared dead at the scene.

“I’m torn apart,” Karmen said. “The family is all torn apart. We’re all hurt.”

The loss has been unbearable, Karmen said.She said her mother was loving, caring and selfless, as well as the rock of their family. Karen was the peacekeeper, and always there to help by watching the children if needed. Two weeks ago, she accompanied them to see the Aquarium of the Americas and eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in New Orleans for the first time.

“It was about everybody else … to make them happy,” Karmen said. “She’d talk to anybody. She liked to joke around and spend time with her family. Her grandchildren were her world. There are nine of them, and three great-grandkids.”Karmen recalled her mother as someone always in a hurry to avoid being late, but always the one who was a careful driver who wore her seatbelt.

“My mom was the most careful driver I’ve ever seen,” she said. “Everybody knew my momma wore a seatbelt.”This is why Friday’s wreck is so baffling to the family.The Louisiana State Police said both drivers in the wreck were not wearing seatbelts, although the investigation could determine otherwise.

What is known is Karmen is really hurt by the loss of the person she considered her best friend and sidekick.“Karen would help anyone she could,” her daughter said. She filleted fish for a living and loved to pick crabs. She loved to cook, and adored her children.

“She was the first person I talked to every morning,” Karmen said. “And she was the last person I spoke to before going to bed.”

The Infinity that struck  Duran was driven by 35-year-old Garland Cottingham of Prairieville, La., according to Louisiana State Police. Cottingham was cited for not wearing a seatbelt and driving under suspension, He also was arrested on several outstanding warrants for his arrest from other jurisdictions.

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