Additional Info: Officer Beaulieu had served as a police officer with the agency for 6 years and had previously served as a dispatcher for 4 years. She is survived by her parents.
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
Another vehicle had stopped behind Officer Beaulieu's patrol car, which was positioned in the right travel lane. She approached the vehicle from the passenger side to speak to the occupants. As she was speaking with the occupants, a drunken driver drove up to the scene and swerved onto the shoulder, drove in between the vehicle and guardrail, and struck her.
Officer Beaulieu was thrown over the wall of the overpass and landed on the service road below. The drunk driver was taken into custody at the scene.
Date of Incident: April 27, 2007
Beaumont Police Officer Dies After Being Struck by Suspected Drunk Driver
By Scott Lawrence
A 36 year old Beaumont police officer has died after she was struck by a suspected drunk driver and thrown over the side of a freeway overpass while investigating a traffic accident early Friday morning.
Officers Carman Apple and Crystal Holmes say the name of the 36 year old female office is not being released at this time. She suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead shortly before 4 a.m. Friday at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth.
The officer was assisting on traffic control at a wreck involving two motorcycle drivers on the Eastex Freeway southbound, just south of the Delaware Street overpass.
The officer had placed her vehicle in the outside lane of the Delaware overpass to block traffic.
Shortly before 1 a.m., a vehicle approached the officer's car and stopped. The officer walked to the outside shoulder between the stopped car and the guardrail to talk to the occupants of the vehicle. A Chrysler Concord driven by a 24 year old Beaumont man was traveling southbound on the Eastex Freeway. The driver swerved to the right of the stopped vehicles and traveled on the shoulder between the stopped car and the guardrail. The vehicle struck the officer and she was thrown over the side of the freeway, landing on the service road below.
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody at the scene and transported to a hospital to obtain a blood sample. Police later took him to the Traffic Office to obtain a statement. The driver is expected to be booked into the Jefferson County Jail on a charge of intoxication manslaughter.
The officer had been employed by the Beaumont Police Department since January of 1997. She began her career as a dispatcher and became a sworn officer on June 1, 2001. She was assigned to the 4th Watch Patrol. The officer is divorced and has no children. Her parents don't live in the Beaumont area.
She is the first Beaumont policewoman to die in the line of duty, and the third Beaumont police officer to die in the line of duty since 2002. In September of 2002, Officer Conrad Gernale was struck and killed by a man who was leaving the scene of a domestic disturbance. In September of 2004, Sergeant Mike Lane was killed in a helicopter crash in Sabine Lake.
The two motorcycle drivers injured early Friday morning have been hospitalized. A 47 year old Nederland man is in critical condition and the other motorcycle driver is in serious condition.
KFDM News crews are covering the death of the Beaumont police officer. Ashley Rodrigue will report live beginning at 5:30 a.m. from Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth.