On Tuesday, a Vermilion Parish grand jury indicted Maurice police officer Willis Thomas for negligent homicide. Back in October officer Thomas was traveling in his police unit when he hit a car along highway 167.
At the time, state police said Thomas was responding to an emergency, he had his lights and siren on. But 83 year old Paul Suire may not have heard or seen Thomas. Suires driver side door was hit, killing Suire and injuring his wife. Officer Thomas was also injured and unable to return to work, collecting workers compensation.
District Attorney Mike Harson comments on why he thinks the jury indicted officer Thomas. Harson said from what he knows, Thomas may have been going up to 92 miles per hour in a 45 mile hour zone and the jury may have though that crossed the line from negligent to criminal. Officer Thomas will be arraigned March 7th. He has turned himself into the Vermilion Parish jail. A $25,000 has been set.
Maurice Police Officer Indicted in Fatal Crash
According to the District Attorney's office, Maurice Police Officer Willis Thomas has been indicted for negligent homicide in the death of Paul Suire, 83.
Thomas was traveling in his police unit when he hit Suire's car. It happened on October 11 of last year on highway 167.
At the time, State Police said Thomas was responding to an emergency, he had his lights and siren on but Suire was hearing impaired and may not have heard or seen them.
Thomas has an arraignment date set for March 7th.
Driver Killed in Officer Involved Crash
Last Thursday, 83 year old Paul Suire died in a car accident in Maurice. The Abbeville man's 79 year old wife was also injured in the crash. A Maurice police officer ran into Suire.
State police say Officer Thomas was responding to an emergency and he had his lights and siren on. Officer Thomas was also hurt in the wreck on US Highway 167.
The village of Maurice is now rallying together, to cope with this tragic event.
"When you're from a small community everybody feels it. From this event I think we will come out stronger and move forward" says Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot.
State police are still investigating the cause of that accident.