Grambling State University psychology professor Zinnia LaShay Livingston Blake was killed Monday morning in an automobile accident on the way to work, according to The Monroe News-Star. Blake appeared to be traveling on Louisiana 507 in Bienville Parish one mile east of Southern Natural Gas Co.’s Bear Creek Storage when her vehicle overturned. Blake’s 5-year-old daughter Haley was reported dead at the scene. Blake was later airlifted to LSU Medical Center-Shreveport, where she was pronounced dead. Two other children, Dexter, 8, and Caleb, 2, were taken to a nearby hospital, according to The News-Star. Caleb is on a respirator, and Dexter, who was also taken to Shreveport, is listed in stable condition with life-threatening injuries.
Blake’s other two children, 11-year-old Lindsey and 9-year-old Shelby, were taken to a Minden hospital with minor injuries.
Dr. LaWanna Gunn-Williams said Blake was a very intelligent and positive individual. “Each morning I would listen to her come in and say ‘How is every body doing this morning,'” Gunn-Williams said. She added that students and faculty loved Blake, who was a positive spirit to have around.
“Dr. Blake always had a positive attitude on life,” Courtney Samuels said. “As long as I can remember her, she never had a bad day and she never let me settle for less.”
Psychology major Shankia Nealy was Blake’s student and also a student worker under Blake. Nealy said Blake loved being around her children and that she always lent an ear to listen whenever someone had a problem.
“She was like my mother away from home because she was always there when I needed her,” Nealy said. “I also would baby-sit for her and I’m truly going to miss her.