Louisiana state trooper charged in fatal Texas crash

Special to USA Today Network

Lake Charles — On Wednesday, Patrick Bell, 45, of Merryville was arrested for his involvement in a fatal crash in Jasper County, Texas, according to a news release from the Louisiana State Police.

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 revealed that on Aug. 29, 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. 

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Texas authorities recently received the results of the toxicology sample, which indicated Bell was over the legal limit for intoxication. 

On Wednesday, 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 that afternoon and booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail awaiting extradition to Texas.

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