‘Sweet and encouraging’ ex-deputy killed in horrific crash with train, Louisiana cops say

A former Louisiana deputy was killed after being struck by a train while in her car, deputies said.

Natalie Brown-Denby, 32, died on Monday, Nov. 20, according to a Nov. 28 Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook post. She ran through a railroad crossing bar while driving in Shreveport and the train smashed into her driver’s side, according to the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office as reported by KSLA.

Brown-Denby was pronounced dead at the scene, KSLA reported.

Her career in law enforcement with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office started in 2013, and she worked across a variety of roles in “communications, patrol, community services and youth services divisions” until 2019, deputies said. She also graduated from the 37th Caddo Regional Police Academy in 2015, according to the sheriff’s office.

She left the sheriff’s office to work at Caddo Juvenile Probation in Shreveport, according to deputies.

“Her former co-workers at the NPSO remember Natalie as a person always willing to help, dependable, needing her morning coffee and eagerness to learn,” the sheriff’s office wrote in its post.

Brown-Denby is survived by her mother and her 5-year-old daughter, according to the sheriff’s office.

Several Facebook users sent condolences to Brown-Denby’s family members, while others shared what they remembered about the former deputy.

“She was so sweet and encouraging,” one person wrote.

Sharon Green shared memories on Facebook of Brown-Denby as one of the first students she taught at Northwestern State University. She had continued to watch her former student flourish in her career, she said, and the news of her death was “heartbreaking.”

“She always lit up the room and was so smart, she kept me on my toes as her professor,” she wrote in her Facebook post.

Green has worked as an assistant professor at the university since 2007, according to her LinkedIn.

Two memorial services were announced following Brown-Denby’s death: one in Shreveport on Dec. 1 and another in Las Vegas on Dec. 8.

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