St. Charles deputy killed in car wreck

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 7, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LULING –- A 12-year St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was killed on Sunday night when he was involved in four-vehicle crash while responding to a call.
Deputy Jeff Watson, 41, was traveling on Louisiana Highway 52, also known as Paul Maillard Road, north approaching Post Drive in a fully-marked 2010 Dodge Charger with emergency lights activated. A 2004 Toyota Tundra, driven by Dallas Veillon, 56, of Luling, which was traveling on Highway 52 south, made a left turn onto Post Drive in the path of the Charger. The Charger impacted the Tundra on the right side, which forced the Charger into the on-coming southbound lane of travel.  
Watson’s vehicle then impacted a 2004 Ford Expedition head-on. The Expedition was driven by Arthur Tregre, 80, of Hahnville. A 2007 Honda Motorcycle, driven by Aaron Hagmann, 29, of Luling was traveling behind the Expedition and struck the rear of vehicle after the impact with the Charger. Watson and Tregre were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision.
Watson was transported to the St. Charles Parish Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Veillon and Hagmann were also transported to the St. Charles Parish Hospital with minor injuries. Tregre was transported to the LSU Public Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center with critical injuries. Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in the crash, but blood was drawn from Veillon and Tregre. A toxicology analysis will be conducted by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. The crash remains under investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office released the following statement Monday: “It is a sad day for The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Watson was a dedicated public servant who will be deeply missed by all St. Charles Parish residents. Please keep his family, the other drivers involved in this tragic accident, and The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office in your thoughts and prayers.”
A resident of Destrehan, Watson is survived by his wife of one year, Lynsey, and stepdaughter, Abrial. Watson is the first St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s deputy to die in the line of duty since 1982 and only the fourth line-of-duty death in the department’s 200-year history.
Sheriff Greg Champagne said he and the staff of the sheriff’s office would be praying for Watson’s family and for the other three residents involved in the crash.
“Jeff was just a solid guy. He always had a good attitude. He worked hard, he made arrests, and he never drew complaints from the public. He was just one of those that could really do his job and treat people with respect. This was one of our finest deputies. It’s a real loss for us, and it’s a loss for the parish,” said Champagne.
The family will hold visitation services on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, at the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office Headquarters in Luling from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., and on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013 at L. A. Muhleisen and Son Funeral Home in Kenner, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
A candlelight vigil will follow the Thursday visitation at 9 p.m. Services will be held in the funeral home chapel at 11 a.m. Friday after the visitation. The Rev. Dennis Watson will officiate.
Upon completion of the 11 a.m. services, the procession will go as follows:
From Williams Boulevard to Interstate 10, from I-10 to Interstate 310, then from I-310 to Louisiana Highway 48 in Destrehan. The procession will end by driving down River Road to Jefferson Memorial Gardens Cemetery in St. Rose. Interment will follow at the Jefferson Memorial Gardens Cemetery in St. Rose.
Anyone who is not part of the procession but would like to show their respect is encouraged to stand along side of LA 48 near the cemetery.
In lieu of the usual remembrances, the Watson family asks the public to consider a donation to the Deputy Jeff Watson Memorial Fund at any Capital One Bank. To view and sign the online guest book, visit