February 16, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt
A Moss Bluff man has been indicted on charges of vehicular homicide in the alleged hit and run death of a 15 year old Ariel Thigpen last April.
Her mother, Sandy Thigpen, goes to the spot on Paul White Road where Ariel died. There are several flower arrangments and plants, along with a "Happy Valentines Day" balloon. Ariel was killed April 17 after being hit by a vehicle driven by 22 year old Christopher Fowler.
Sandy is pleased to hear, after ten months, Fowler has been indicted for vehicular homicide and hit and run. Calcasieu D.A. John DeRosier says Fowler tested positive for drugs. Says Sandy, "It's not going to bring her back but at least people know, yes he was impaired. This could very well have been the reason he killed her."
Fowler turned himself in at the Calcasieu Jail where his attorneys A.J. Fazzio and Harry Fontenot gave a statement for him. "First and foremost our thoughts and prayers have been with the Thigpen family and their tragic loss. However, it's our contention that Chris is 100% not guilty. It was an unavoidable accident. That's all we can say at this time." The defense attorneys dispute that Chris Fowler was impaired-- something prosecutors will have to prove to get a conviction for vehicular homicide.
Thigpen hopes for justice and greater awareness. "I think other children in this community, in Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Sulphur-- they need to realize that when you get behind a car it's a weapon. And when you're drinking and driving or doing marijuana, whatever you're doing, you're taking that chance of killing somebody or yourself."
If convicted of vehicular homicide Fowler could get up to thirty years in prison.