Wildlife and Fisheries officer found dead after car strikes tree

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent from Monterey was killed early Wednesday morning in a one-vehicle accident on a Concordia Parish highway.

Jim Matkin, a senior agent with the enforcement division, was on patrol on Louisiana 565 when his vehicle ran off the road, Wildlife and Fisheries Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze said.

&uot;He apparently lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway, hit a tree and was killed instantly,&uot; LaCaze said.

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Matkin, 30 and originally from Pineville, went on duty around 4 a.m. and was near Wildsville when the accident occurred. LaCaze said authorities were notified at around 4:45 a.m. by a passerby, but investigations put the accident between 4 and 4:15 a.m.

State Police are working with Wildlife and Fisheries to investigate the accident, and an accident reconstruction will be done. An autopsy is slated to be performed in Mississippi. LaCaze said it looked as if no other cars were involved.

&uot;We will investigate, but at this time it appears to be an accident,&uot; he said.

Funeral services are set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Forrest Lawn Memorial Funeral Home in Pineville. Visitation will be Friday night at the funeral home from 5 to 10.

Matkin worked for Wildlife and Fisheries since November. 1999.

He is survived by his parents, James and Rosella Matkin of Pineville, two sisters and a 7-year-old stepson.

State Police, Wildlife and Fisheries and Concordia Fire District No. 2 responded to the accident.