Louisiana is a place where the unique and hard to explain are almost the rule rather than the exception. If you look at our rather colorful past you will find the pages of history littered with stories that would be better served in the form of legend than fact.

One of those stories is the death of a major 1960's Hollywood starlet. Her name was Jayne Mansfield. She was the sex symbol of her day. She had already earned the honor of Playboy Playmate. She was often seen in the company of the most debonair of Hollywood's leading men. She met her death on U.S. Highway 90 because of a mosquito truck.

Let me set the scene for you. Mansfield and her lover were traveling back to New Orleans from an appearance in Biloxi Mississippi. There was no I-10 back then so the road from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Big Easy was U.S. Highway 90. The trip was going along swimmingly until the 1966 Buick Electra carrying Mansfield, her lover Sam Brody, their driver, and three children was near Slidell in St. Tammany Parish.

It was not uncommon in the not so federally regulated era of the 60's for mosquito control to take the form of trucks spewing out a tremendous and blinding fog of chemicals. Such was the case this night as the Mansfield party was passing through. The chemical fog temporarily drifted over the roadway basically engulfing the vehicle in a white out situation. That is when the speeding Buick struck the back of an 18-wheeler.

Witnesses at the scene said the passenger car actually was forced under the big rig's trailer. The three adults, Mansfield,Sam Brody,and their driver, were killed instantly.

The three children who were in the back seat survived. Here's another odd twist to the tale. One of those children, Mariska Hargitay is well known to today's audiences as Olivia Benson on TV's Law and Order SVU.

That's how a mosquito control truck played a part in the death of one of Hollywood's famous rising stars.

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