Deputy killed in car crash while responding to call for back up
Jeff Watson, 41, was driving down Paul Maillard northbound at around 8:45 p.m. with his emergency lights activated when a Toyota Tundra, driven by Dallas Veillon of Luling, made a left turn onto Post Drive in front of Watson’s Dodge Charger.
The Charger crashed into the Tundra on the right side and forced Watson’s vehicle into the on-coming southbound lane of travel. Watson was pushed into the path of a 2004 Ford Expedition, which was driven by 80-year-old Arthur Tregre.A 2007 Honda motorcycle, driven by 29-year-old Aaron Hagmann of Luling, was traveling behind the Expedition and crashed into the back of the vehicle.
Watson was transported to St. Charles Parish Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“It is a sad day for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Watson was a dedicated public servant who will be deeply missed by all St. Charles Parish residents,” Sheriff Greg Champagne said. “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.”
A 12-year law enforcement veteran, Watson joined the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office in October 2005. He previously worked for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. A resident of Destrehan, Watson is survived by his wife, Lynsey, and stepdaughter, Abrial.
Watson is the first St. Charles Parish deputy to die in the line of duty since 1982, and the fourth line of duty death in the department’s 200-year history.
Tregre, the driver of the Expedition, was transported to LSU Public Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center with critical injuries. Many residents know Tregre because he sells cypress swings and rocking chairs in front of his home on Paul Maillard. He is also a charter member of the Hahnville Fire Department. Tregre broke his leg, ankle, sternum and pelvis in the crash, while also bruising his lung. He is currently in the ICU.
“He is showing very slow signs of progress, but we are hopeful,” Tracy Daniels, Tregre’s granddaughter, said.A blood drive for Tregre will be held Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Des Allemands Fire Department from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Though impairment is not suspected as 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 Watson are pending an autopsy.Veillon and Hagmann were transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
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