John LaPlante, an editor for Baton Rouge, La.’s daily newspaper, died Saturday, after a swimming accident at Galveston Island, family members told the newspaper. He was 54.
LaPlante was injured Thursday, when he and his children were swept toward a rock jetty by a strong current. His children were able to climb onto the rocks but LaPlante was unable to pull himself from the water. He was not breathing when rescuers reached him, the chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol said.
LaPlante, a New Orleans native, was the chief of the The Advocate’s Capitol bureau. He covered Louisiana government and politics for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and editorial writer. He also taught a newswriting course at Louisiana State University.