Judge gives former coach probation for failing to render aid after fatal crash

Judge gives former coach probation for failing to render aid after fatal crash

Former West Orange-Stark High School assistant coach Carl Broussard, 54, was sentenced May 15 to 10 years probation and two $5,000 fines after pleading guilty March 23 to two counts of failure to stop and render aid in the wake of a fatal accident Nov. 2, 2015, that claimed the lives of a 25-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter.

Ava Nicole Lewis and her daughter Lamya Janise Newhouse were attempting to cross MacArthur Drive in the 2100 block at about 8 p.m. that fateful evening when they were struck by a small, white car traveling westbound on the roadway. Witnesses told responding officers that the vehicle hit the pair of pedestrians and then sped away.

During an interview with police the day following the crash, Broussard confessed to driving the vehicle that struck and killed the mother and daughter on MacArthur Drive the preceding night. He reportedly told police he thought he had struck an animal, and then hid his car in his girlfriend’s garage. She checked out the scene of the accident and discovered he had hit two pedestrians. Broussard turned himself in the next day. He was arrested and charged with two counts of failure to stop and render aid in the wake of an accident. He was indicted on those charges in July 2016.

Following his confession Broussard resigned his position at WO-S, according to school representatives.

In a prior interview, Orange County District Attorney John Kimbrough explained the charges Broussard faces are violations of the Transportation Code, making it a special case, which is one reason no plea deal was offered.

"TxDOT was working on the road at the time, and it was pitch black out there," Kimbrough previously described the night of the fatal crash. "There were no identifiable lanes... It was an accident. It could have happened to anybody. He may not have even known what he hit, but he had a responsibility to stop. He failed to stop and render aid to the victims. It is very sad."

Broussard appeared before 260th District Judge Buddie Hahn on May 15 for sentencing. Hahn assessed the sentence in lieu of a jury per Broussard’s request. Broussard faced from two to 20 years in prison for each count and a fine up to $10,000. The time could have been stacked rather than running concurrently, meaning Broussard faced up to 40 years in prison. Hahn instead sentenced Broussard probation, pointing to the actual charges the judge was considering – failure to stop and render aid. Following the sentencing, Kimbrough said if Broussard fails to complete the terms of his probation, he faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the two counts against him, which could be stacked or run concurrently. 

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