Suspected drunk driver charged with vehicular homicide in crash that killed three Nicholls State students
A Chackbay man accused of causing a crash in November that left three Nicholls State University students dead is facing criminal charges.
A Lafourche Parish grand jury found enough evidence Jan. 13 to charge Joey Paul Clement, 39, with three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of DWI fourth offense.
The Nov. 20 crash claimed the lives of 19-year-old Lily Dufrene, 18-year-old Hali Coss and 18-year-old Michaila Bowling, all of Luling. Prosecutors said Clement was intoxicated during the time of the crash.
An indictment does not presume guilt or innocence but indicates the grand jury found prosecutors presented enough evidence to warrant a trial on the charge.
According to State Police, Clement was driving a 2019 Ford F-150 north on Hwy. 20 just after midnight when his pickup crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into the SUV Dufrene was driving.
Both vehicles then became engulfed in flames.
Dufrene, Coss and Bowling were pronounced dead at the scene and Clement suffered minor injuries, police said.
Clement has since pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to make his next court appearance in the courtroom of District Judge F. Hugh Larose on April 12.
If convicted of vehicular homicide, Clement faces up to 30 years in prison, and a conviction for fourth DWI carries a maximum penalty of 30 years behind bars.