LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Three motorcycle officers - two Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s deputies and one Sulphur Police Department captain - who were injured escorting President Trump’s motorcade Tuesday have each received presidential challenge coins and a set of cuff links.
Lucas Allmon, with the White House Medical Unit, presented all three officers with the Presidential Challenge Coin and a set of cuff links.
Sheriff’s Office Sr. Cpls. Roy Jones Jr. and Jason Hayes were injured in the crash, according to information from the Sheriff’s Office. Capt. Matt Cheaney, an 11-year veteran of the Sulphur police force, was also injured according to Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats.
The three were riding with motorcycle officers other several other agencies when a crash occurred around 1:50 p.m. on I-210, as they were crossing Broad Street.
“They’re getting on the interstate from Legion Street,” Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. “They are accelerating, getting up and making sure the interstate is clear and the motorcade can proceed and evidently when they got to the Broad Street overpass, the front of the motorcycles started slowing down and it caused a couple of bikes to end up hitting each other and that’s all it takes when it’s motorcycles. You don’t have a whole lot of room for error."
Lake Charles Police is investigating the accident with assistance from the Louisiana State Police.
According to Cpl. Scott Dougherty, with LCPD, the crash occurred when one of the motor cops at the front of the motorcade slowed down and another motorcycle behind them did not brake fast enough. This caused the motorcycle to be rear-ended, causing a chain reaction.
“That’s all it takes when it’s motorcycles," Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. "You don’t have a whole lot of room for error. We’re very lucky. I can tell you I thanked God because it could have been so much worse.”
In total, four motorcycles were involved, with three officers taken to the hospital with injuries.
“You know, we were sort of relieved it wasn’t fatal injuries," Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats said. "We were blessed in that scenario, but any injury for a police officer doing their job is too much.”
Both Jones and Hayes were transported to the hospital by ambulance. One has already been released from the hospital, while another is awaiting another surgery.
According to Coats, Cpt. Cheaney broke a toe and has severe road rash, but was released from the hospital Tuesday and is recovering at home.
Cheaney says Secret Service also gave his son a presidential challenge coin and a box of M&M’s off of Air Force One.
“One thing I thought was really neat out of this bad situation is the Secret Service approached me and said the President would not exit the limo until he got an update on the officers conditions.” Coats said.
All three are expected to make a full recovery, according to the agencies involved.
The crash is still under investigation.