A longtime county department head was found dead in his home Wednesday morning by a coworker.

Les Anderson, 66, county engineer for the Orange County Road & Bridge Department, called into work sick on Tuesday, according to Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Derry Dunn’s office. He didn’t come to work on Wednesday morning. A Road & Bridge foreman went to his house to check in on him and found him collapsed on the floor at 9:30 a.m.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux called Anderson’s death devastating.

“It’s a total shock,” he said. “You work with somebody one day, and then they’re gone the next. He will be sorely missed.”

Thibodeaux said Anderson was a major worker and a major person for the county. He added the Road & Bridge Department is currently working on several construction projects and procuring grants for work and Anderson will be tough to replace.

“We’ll (the Commissioners’ Court) have to take a good look (at hiring a new county engineer) in moving forward. We’re here to accept; not ask why,” Thibodeaux said.

Dunn speculates Anderson was a victim of cardiac failure, but he isn’t sure. An autopsy has been ordered to determine cause of death.