ST. MARY PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Authorities have arrested two men in connection to a crash that killed a police officer Tuesday night.
Louisiana State Police reported Officer Juandre Gilliam, Sr. of the Jeanerette Police Department died during an apparent high speed chase. 22-year-old Gilliam had only been on the force for two years and just graduated from the police academy last month.
Officer Gilliam attempted to make a traffic stop on a black Chevrolet Colorado within the Jeanerette city limits. The vehicle did not stop and Officer Gilliam began to pursue them.
Troopers said they received a call shortly after 10:30 p.m. about a wreck on St. Peter Road, which is off LA 182, in St. Mary Parish. The reason behind the crash is still under investigation, but troopers report that the two vehicles struck each other.
During the chase, Officer Gilliam lost control of his police car, ran off the left side of the road and hit a cement culvert. He was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle as it began to flip. Troopers have yet to determine why he lost control.
Responding personnel found Officer Gilliam critically injured. He was taken to a hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The other vehicle drove off after Officer Gilliam's car crashed. Several agencies then searched for it and those inside. Law enforcement found the truck abandoned in a field near the scene of the crash. Investigators questioned the owner of the truck, 57-year-old Clint Rogers of Jeanerette, and found two others were involved in the incident, 21-year-old Antre Joseph of New Iberia and a 16-year-old juvenile.
After an investigation, State Police have arrested and charged Joseph with manslaughter and aggravated flight from an officer. Rodgers was also arrested and charged with criminal mischief. They were booked into the Iberia Parish Jail. No word on if bonds have been set for either.
The investigation into the crash is still ongoing.
Funeral arrangements have been set for Officer Gilliam, Sr. Visitation will be held Saturday, April 11 at the Patterson Civic Center from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. with funeral services to follow. He will be buried in the Sorrel Community Cemetery with full Police Officer Honors.
Click here to see the memorial page in Officer Gilliam's honor.