Witnesses: Attorney 'hauled a**' after causing boat crash that hurt kids on False River
UPDATE: The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the arrest of Chris Richard on Monday afternoon.
This is a breaking update. Read the original story below.
NEW ROADS - It's been five days since a nasty boating crash, and the attorney who fled the scene still has not been arrested.
Three children were on a tube being towed by a boat when another boat crashed into the tube. Pointe Coupee Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux said Chris Richard was driving that boat, but he wound up fleeing the scene instead. He was located at his home in Carencro instead but was not taken into custody for leaving the scene of a crash.
Two children had to go to the hospital. One was transported by AirMed.
"The boat never even stopped," Jeff Guidry said. "They full throttled never checked on the kids, and came ran all the way back here. They all jumped off the boat like they were going to the bathroom and hauled a** out of here."
Guidry was at his camp on Sunday when the wreck happened. The lack of compassion for kids was bad enough, but he said the lack of an arrest by those tasked to investigate is even worse.
"I have no idea how this guy is not in jail," Guidry said. "It blows my mind."
The WBRZ Investigative Unit traveled to Lafayette looking for Richard on Thursday. His law office was locked and the lights were off. Following our story airing, Richard's website was taken down. Last night and today it says, "site not found."
Tara Elwell owns a camp on False River. She also happens to be an attorney from Lafayette.
"It surprised me that a fellow attorney could bail on a situation," Elwell said. "We are supposed to be officers of the court and do good by people. To leave children knowing they are hurt. I can't understand it."
Elwell said the situation reeks of favoritism by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
"I don't understand that because they seem to police this place pretty well," Elwell said. "They are on and off the barges and are always here. To not follow through with an action does surprise me."
The WBRZ Investigative Unit found Friday that the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Jack Montoucet is from the Lafayette area. He's a former state rep and also the former Fire Chief of the Lafayette Fire Department.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit asked if Montoucet knows Richard. A spokesperson responded, "We still have no comment. The incident is still being investigated."
Richard has been a lawyer for 32 years and has no discipline on record.
Both children who went to the hospital have been released.
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