Joel Broussard, a 2016 Elk Grove mayoral candidate, was fatally injured in an 11-vehicle collision on Interstate-5 near Florin Road on Sept. 8. He was 39 and the father of four children.
Sacramento County coroners identified him as the deceased victim on Sept. 10.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) stated that the collision was reported around 5:40 p.m. on southbound Interstate-5. Investigators determined that a tractor-trailer combination was traveling in the freeway’s #2 lane when its driver failed to slow down before approaching slower traffic.
Authorities reported the tractor-trailer then struck a vehicle, which caused a chain reaction collision with nine other vehicles.
Broussard was reportedly driving a Chrysler 300 when he was struck by the speeding truck. The CHP stated that two people were hospitalized for minor injuries. Investigators don’t believe that alcohol or drug use was a factor in the collision, the CHP reported.
Broussard was a 15-year resident of Elk Grove who worked as a Coca-Cola district manager when he decided to run for mayor of his city four years ago. It was his first time running for public office.
“I’ve always been motivated to contribute in some form or way, and definitely serve others,” Broussard told the Citizen during a 2016 video interview. “The ultimate servant you can be is becoming a mayor because you’re ultimately serving the city.”
He campaigned to motivate more community members to get involved in the city government’s planning process.
“I am committed to push their agendas, make sure their voices are being heard and to form the relationship between our leaders and citizens – showing elected officials are ultimately servants of the community,” Broussard said during his campaign kickoff at the Falls Event Center on May 16, 2016.
Broussard finished fifth in the seven-candidate mayoral race that was won by current mayor, Steve Ly.
He reportedly worked for Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics before his passing. His co-workers organized a Go Fund Me online fundraiser to benefit his family at https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-remembrance-of-joel-broussard.
“Joel was a perfect example of how with the right self-confidence and motivation you can achieve your wildest dreams,” organizer Zarah Armstrong wrote on the Go Fund Me page. “He made it his mission to spread this message of self-empowerment to everyone around him.”