State trooper charged in fatal crash

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A Louisiana Trooper was arrested Wednesday for his involvement in a fatal crash in Jasper County, Texas.

Sgt. James Anderson said at the time of the crash, 45-year-old Patrick Bell of Merryville was off-duty and had been on workers’ compensation leave since 2017 with all law enforcement property already recovered by the department.

Prior to the workers’ compensation leave, Bell had been assigned to patrol at Troop D since 2001.

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The crash investigation conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed that on Aug. 29, 2021, Bell was driving a 2018 GMC Sierra west on Texas State Highway 63.  As Bell continued west, the vehicle traveled off the roadway and struck a pedestrian on the shoulder.  The pedestrian was killed as a result of the crash. A toxicology sample was obtained from Bell shortly after the crash.

Texas authorities recently received the results of the toxicology sample, which indicated Bell was over the legal limit for intoxication. On Wednesday TxDPS obtained an arrest warrant for Bell charging him with intoxication manslaughter.  Through a coordinated effort between Louisiana State Police and Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers, Bell was taken into custody without incident this afternoon and booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail awaiting extradition to Texas.

Further inquiries on the fatal crash and criminal charges should be referred to the Texas Department of Public Safety.