JASPER, Texas — A Louisiana police officer has been charged with intoxication manslaughter and is waiting to be extradited to Texas after a fatal auto-pedestrian crash that happened in Jasper County.
A Texas Department of Public Safety investigation showed Patrick Bell, 45, of Merryville, was driving a 2018 GMC Sierra on State Highway 63 when he traveled off the roadway and struck a person on Aug. 29, 2021. The victim died as a result of the crash.
A toxicology sample obtained from Bell shortly after the crash showed that he was over the legal limit for intoxication. Texas authorities recently received the results of the sample. On Monday, Texas DPS obtained an arrest warrant for Bell.
Bell was taken into custody Monday afternoon and booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail in Louisiana, where he awaits extradition.
At the time of the crash, Bell was off duty. The Louisiana officer had been on workers’ compensation leave since 2017.
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.
From a Louisiana State Police press release:
On October 13, 2021, 45-year-old Patrick Bell of Merryville was arrested for his involvement in a fatal crash in Jasper County, Texas. At the time of the crash, Bell was off-duty having been on workers’ compensation leave since 2017 with all law enforcement property already recovered by the department. Prior to the workers’ compensation leave, Bell had been assigned to patrol at Troop D since 2001.
The crash investigation conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) revealed that on August 29, 2021 Bell was driving a 2018 GMC Sierra west on Texas State Highway 63. As Bell continued west, the vehicle traveled off the roadway and struck a pedestrian on the shoulder. The pedestrian was killed as a result of the crash. A toxicology sample was obtained from Bell shortly after the crash.
Texas authorities recently received the results of the toxicology sample, which indicated Bell was over the legal limit for intoxication. On October 13, 2021, TxDPS obtained an arrest warrant for Bell charging him with Intoxication Manslaughter. Through a coordinated effort between Louisiana State Police and Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers, Bell was taken into custody without incident this afternoon and booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail awaiting extradition to Texas.
Further inquiries on the fatal crash and criminal charges should be referred to the Texas Department of Public Safety.