Louisiana trooper on leave charged with driving drunk, killing Texas pedestrian

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, October 14, 2021

A Louisiana State Police trooper on workers’ compensation leave has been charged in a fatal car crash in Texas, Louisiana officials reported Wednesday.

On Wednesday, 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.

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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.