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WO-S coach charged in hit-and-run

By David Ball and Dawn Burleigh

 

A West Orange-Stark High School coach has been arrested and charged in auto-pedestrian deaths Monday of a kindergarten student enrolled in the district and her mother.

Carl Jacob Broussard, 53, of Vinton, turned himself in at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to the Orange Police Department and was arrested for two counts of leaving the scene of an accident — a second-degree felony.

LaMya Newhouse, 6, and her mother, Ava Lewis, 25, were hit while crossing the street in the 2200 block of MacArthur Drive, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Capt. Cliff Hargrave of the Orange police.

According to the West Orange-Cove CISD website, Broussard is an assistant coach for the district’s football varsity and junior varsity teams. He is also a powerlifting coach and a building trades instructor.

OPD officers got a call at 8:03 p.m. Monday, about an auto-pedestrian accident near Whataburger.

Investigators determined the mother and daughter were trying to cross the street when they were hit by a car as they headed south.

According to the affidavit, witnesses described the car as small and white, and said it continued west on MacArthur Drive without stopping after the accident.

The mother and daughter were pronounced dead by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Derry Dunn.

Broussard first came to the attention of police detectives after a caller told them a relative might know about the incident. The detectives contacted this relative, who said the suspect would later turn himself in at the police department.

During an interview with detectives at the station, Broussard admitted to being involved in the accident on MacArthur. He said he was driving west in the 2200 block of MacArthur in a 1993 Geo Prism.

Accord to Broussard’s account, he was in the turning lane to turn south on Donnell Street. He said he heard a thud, which caused damage to the front windshield.

After turning south on Donnell Street, he turned left into a private parking lot. He said he stayed in the parking lot for five to 10 seconds before leaving without checking to see what he had hit.

Broussard then went to his girlfriend’s residence and showed her the car’s damage. His girlfriend went back to the scene and saw that two people had been hit, the affidavit said.

At the scene, Broussard’s girlfriend called him to tell him what she saw. Broussard didn’t call law enforcement, put his Geo Prism in the garage at his girlfriend’s residence to hide it, Hargrave said in the affidavit. Orange police have not said whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

Though Orange police have not released more details about the incident, that stretch of road has come to their attention before, when an automobile accident killed another child.

Loleecia Hughey, 2, was killed when she was hit by a vehicle Nov. 23, 2011, in the 2500 block of MacArthur, the day after Thanksgiving. Loleecia’s death prompted requests for lights along the street.

T.W. Permenter, then mayor of Pinehurst, requested that the Texas Department of Transportation do a study to determine if more traffic lights or street lights were needed.

TxDOT determined there was not enough traffic turning from the side streets along the road to warrant traffic signals, according to minutes from the city of Pinehurst council meetings.

The survey also determined street lights were not needed because of the lack of nighttime accidents. If the connecting cities installed streetlights, TxDOT would not bear the expense of installing or operating them.

Broussard remains in the Orange County Correctional Facility on bonds totaling $200,000 for the two leaving the scene of the accident charges.

The school district has not said whether Broussard will be put on leave.

A statement from the WO-CCOSD reads, “The students of West Orange-Cove CISD have been deeply impacted by Monday night’s tragic accident. At this time, we request privacy for our students and staff as we grieve the death of our student. Our thoughts are with LaMya’s family and we extend them our deepest condolences.

“We are working with law enforcement on this matter. We will make no other statement regarding school personnel at this time.”

A vigil is planned for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, on the Big Lots parking lot on MacArthur Drive.

A gofundme account has been established to help the family with funeral expenses at https://www.gofundme.com/up8djmnx