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Battle isn’t over for former fire chief injured in fatal crash

By Kyle Barnett -   Jan 02, 2014

Arthur Tregre
Arthur Tregre

The elderly driver who was injured when a St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office cruiser driven by Deputy Jeff Watson collided with his vehicle head-on in early August has still not recovered from his injuries.

Arthur Tregre, 80, was seriously injured in the accident on Paul Maillard Road. Watson was killed in the crash.  

Tregre is known in St. Charles Parish for the homemade cypress swings and rocking chairs he has sold for years in front of his home on Paul Maillard as well as his long career as a charter member of the Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department where he was once chief.

His injuries from the accident included a broken leg, ankle, sternum and pelvis as well as a bruised lung, most of which have healed at this point. Although Tregre was released from the hospital nearly five months after the accident, he has still not returned home and remains at Luling Living Center awaiting a hip replacement.

His granddaughter, Tracy Daniels, said the recovery time has been more than the family expected.  

“Most people assume that he is home and, believe me, if there was anyway possible he would be, but he is immobile still and needs the skilled care,” she said. “His battle is not over, but he has the most amazing spirit I think anybody could have in this situation.”

Daniels said the hip replacement surgery is currently scheduled for early next year, meaning Tregre will spend Christmas in the nursing home.

“It’s a bit more than we had anticipated. He is waiting on a hip replacement that he should be getting on Jan. 14 if all of the sores that he got (in the accident) heal,” she said.

Due to Tregre’s age and the trauma he suffered in the incident, the surgery may be a risky one.

“It is not a routine hip replacement. It is very invasive and it has a lot of risk factor that include his age and all of that stuff,” she said.

While the Des Allemands Fire Department held a blood drive in Tregre’s honor shortly after the incident, he has refused any direct assistance.

“He just doesn’t like to take from people,” Daniels said.

Tregre’s family is only asking that people keep him in their prayers.

“All the family asks for is prayers. Please continue to pray for him because he still has a long road ahead of him,” Daniels said.  

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