Lafayette Attorney Arrested After Fleeing the Scene of False River Boating Crash Injuring Multiple Children
According to WAFB, authorities have arrested a man in connection with a boating accident that left multiple children injured.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that Lafayette Parish assistant district attorney Chris Richard turned himself in earlier today and has been booked into the Pointe Coupee Parish Jail. Richard, 64, of Carencro, is facing charges of felony hit-and-run as well as careless operation of a vehicle and negligent injury.
The report from WAFB states that "felony hit and run can bring up to a $5,000 fine and 10 years in jail. Negligent injury carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. Careless operation of a vessel brings up to a $300 fine and 30 days in jail.
LDWF says their investigation of an Aug. 8 boating accident on the south end of False River led them to Richard as the individual responsible for the collision with the juveniles.
Through the investigation, agents learned that Richard was operating a 20-foot pontoon boat at 4:25 p.m. when he collided with three juveniles being pulled on a tube from another vessel. According to witnesses and those involved with the incident, Richard initially jumped in the water to check on the three juveniles, but then got back on his boat and left the scene to go back to his camp on False River and then home to Carencro. One of the juveniles in the tube suffered a fractured pelvis and was airlifted to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.
The investigation included interviews of "more than a dozen witnesses" who ranged from people who were still at the scene after the incident happened to those who were tracked down "days later."
Investigative reports from WBRZ between the time of the Aug 8 incident and today's arrest states that Richard was allegedly located at his home in Carencro while investigators were still gathering evidence at the scene.
When agents with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries located him in Carencro he did not submit to an alcohol test. He also gave no solid explanation as to why he left the scene. The WBRZ Investigative Unit has repeatedly asked the State LDWF why Richard was not arrested Sunday and why the boat our sources said he was driving was not taken in as evidence.
WBRZ also states that they made "numerous requests" to speak with District Attorney Don Landry.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit also made numerous requests to speak to District Attorney Don Landry to determine Richard's status after the boating crash. Landry returned our calls late Thursday afternoon. He declined to comment, citing the pending investigation, and he would not answer questions related to Richard's job status with his office.
Richard is an assistant district attorney who handles misdemeanor cases for the district attorney and his law office website says that he specializes in cases related to personal injury and DWI.
See the full report via WAFB here.