W.D. Smith Career Center principal arrested for allegedly driving drunk on 3 tires and a missing rim

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VERMILION PARISH, La. (KLFY) The school principal at W.D. and Mary Baker Smith Career Center in Lafayette was arrested over the weekend on charges of OWI, reckless operation and hit and run.

According to State Police, Ralph Thibodeaux was travelling on Hwy. 92 in Vermilion Parish when he allegedly side-swiped a vehicle and fled the scene.

A short distance later, police said, Thibodeaux hit a second vehicle.

That impact caused a tire on Thibodeaux’s vehicle to come off , however it did not stop him from fleeing the scene and continuing to drive on three wheels and a missing rim, State Police Troop I spokesman Thomas Gossen said.

He then struck a third vehicle on Hwy. 167 after his vehicle crossed the median.

That crash disabled Thibodeaux’s vehicle, Gossen said.

Thibodeaux was arrested and charged with reckless operation, OWI and hit and run.

No injuries were reported.

The Lafayette Parish School System has released the following statement on Thibodeaux’s arrest:

Our district is aware of the charges and is looking into the situation. As with all personnel issues, district policy is being followed.

Before he was named principal at the Career Center, Thibodeaux was a teacher at Henry High, Erath High and North Vermilion High.

He was also an assistant principal at Erath High and principal at Dozier Elementary and Abbeville High Schools.

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