Monday, August 5, 2013

St. Charles Parish deputy dies in Sunday night crash while responding to call

St. Charles Parish deputy dies in Sunday night crash while responding to call 

St. Charles Parish Sheriff's deputy was killed in a four-vehicle wreck on Sunday night on Paul Maillard Road in Luling at approximately 8:45 p.m. as he was responding to a call for assistance from another officer. Louisiana State Police said 41-year-old Deputy Jeff Watson was driving north on Paul Maillard approaching Post Drive in his 2010 Dodge Charger police vehicle  when Luling resident Dallas Veillon, 56, who was driving a 2004 Toyota Tundra, made a left turn onto Post Drive and crossed into the path of Watson's vehicle. 

Watson, whose police lights were activated, struck the Tundra and then careened into the southbound lane of traffic, where his police vehicle collided head on with a 2004 Ford Expedition driven by Arthur Tregre, 80, of Hahnville.  

Luling resident Aaron Hagmann, 29, who was driving a 2007 Honda motorcycle behind Tregre's vehicle crashed into the rear of the Expedition.

Veillon, Hagmann and Watson, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, were transported to St. Charles Parish Hospital in Luling. Watson was pronounced dead at the hospital; Veillon and Hagmann received only minor injuries.

Tregre, who also was not wearing a seatbelt, was transported to the LSU Public Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans with critical injuries.

"It is a sad day for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office," said St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne in a release. "Deputy Watson was a dedicated public servant who will be deeply missed by all St. Charles Parish residents. Please keep his family, the other drivers involved in this tragic accident, and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office in your thoughts and prayers."

Although impairment is not suspected to be a factor in the crash, blood was drawn from Veillon and Tregre, and a toxicology analysis will be conducted by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Toxicology results on Deputy Watson are pending an autopsy. Speed is considered to be a factor in the crash.

The crash is under investigation, which is being handled by State Police. 

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