Fire chief involved in fatal crash finally returns home

Former Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Arthur Tregre has returned home after being hospitalized since last August following a head-on collision with St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Watson, who died in the accident.

Watson was on Paul Maillard Road in Luling responding to a call when he clipped a vehicle that turned into his path and then ran head-on into Tregre’s SUV, pushing it 33 feet before coming to a stop.

Tregre, who was 80 years old at the time of the accident, suffered severe injuries in the crash including a broken leg, ankle, sternum and pelvis as well as a bruised lung.

Tregre was hospitalized for five months following the accident and was still confined to a bed when he entered the care of Luling Living Center. Tregre stayed at that facility until he was able to recover enough to receive a hip replacement, which at one time was a questionable procedure due to the severity of his injuries.

However, Tregre successfully underwent the surgery earlier this year and after 11 months was finally able to return home.

Tracy Daniels, Tregre’s granddaughter, said the former fire chief wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers while he was recovering.

“He is doing well, but is still in therapy. The family’s main focus right now is to make his life as close to normal as possible and we are very blessed he is home.” Daniels said.

Watson was found responsible for the crash by the Louisiana State Police. The accident report said Watson broke laws prohibiting emergency vehicles from endangering others by traveling at an excessive speed. He was also cited for reckless driving, negligent injury and not wearing a seat belt.

Watson is believed to have been travelling around 90 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone and only activated his emergency lights .88 seconds before impact.

Tregre has filed a lawsuit against the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office concerning the incident that has not be resolved.


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