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LSP says drunk, speeding driver killed teen

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago August 05, 2015 Aug 5, 2015 Wednesday, August 05 2015 August 05, 2015 10:30 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones

PRAIRIEVILLE - Louisiana State Police said a Prairieville man died after a drunk driver hit him while the victim was pushing a disabled vehicle off the highway in Ascension Parish.

Troopers arrested 41-year-old J. Thomas Bowers and accused him of a long list of charges including vehicular homicide and second offense driving while intoxicated.

An LSP spokesperson said the wreck happened just after 11 p.m. Tuesday night on LA 42 west of LA 44 in Ascension Parish and killed 18-year-old Richard Billingsley of Prairieville.

Troopers said Billingsley was riding with someone when their SUV broke down. Troopers said the driver put on her emergency flashers and steered while Billingsley got out and pushed the vehicle off the highway. That was when state police said Bowers was driving east on LA 42 and didn't stop, hitting Billingsley.

Troopers said Billingsley died at the scene and the SUV driver received minor injuries. Investigators said Bowers wasn't wearing a seat belt but didn't have any injuries, and they suspected speed and impairment caused him to hit Billingsley.

According to LSP Bowers refused to give a breath sample at the scene and was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital where a blood sample was taken. Troopers charged him with vehicular homicide, second offense DWI, vehicular negligent injuring, reckless operation, open container, speeding, and not wearing a seat belt. He was booked into the Ascension Parish jail.

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