State trooper suspended after deadly Pointe Coupee crash
LOTTIE - Louisiana State Police has confirmed to WBRZ that a trooper was suspended for 14 weeks after he was involved in a deadly crash in Pointe Coupee Parish.
According to a report from the Advocate, trooper Christopher R. Kelley's suspension began Monday due to his involvement in the deadly, high-speed crash which occurred on Feb. 22. Kelley was reportedly on his way to work a Mardi Gras detail in New Orleans at the time of the incident.
The report says Kelley was traveling 111 miles per hour on Highway 190 in Lottie, near the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, as 64-year-old Henry Baise turned onto the highway. Police say Baise failed to yield and the two vehicles collided.
The report added that Kelley slammed his brakes just before impact, but still crashed into the vehicle at about 79 miles per hour. Kelley sustained moderate injuries in the crash.
A State Police investigation determined the fatal crash was preventable, but that it was ultimately caused by Baise's failure to yield before turning. Despite the findings, the Advocate says Baise's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the trooper's negligence was to blame for the death.
Kelley's suspension comes about four months after a grand jury declined to charge the trooper with negligent homicide in the deadly crash. However, the grand jury did cite Kelley for speeding and careless operation.
Kelley is suspended without pay and is not scheduled to return to active duty until Nov. 20.