Slidell Police Detective John Cole, who had been in critical condition at Interim LSU Hospital since a car accident early Sunday, has died, a Slidell Police Department spokesman said Wednesday.
Cole was off duty when the Jeep Wrangler he was driving ran off the road and flipped about 4:30 a.m., according to State Police.
Cole’s passenger, 31-year-old Daniel Hanlon, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Both Cole and Hanlon lived in Slidell, State Police said.
State Police suspect that Cole may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, but as of Wednesday afternoon, test results had not come back, said Greg Marchand, a Troop L spokesman.
The 31-year-old detective leaves behind a wife and two daughters, 4 years old and 6 months old, according to Detective Daniel Seuzeneau, of the Slidell Police Department.
News of the crash weighed heavily on the department, many of whose members were close to both Cole and Hanlon, Seuzeneau said.
“Words cannot describe the tremendous loss of both Detective Cole and Daniel Hanlon,” Seuzeneau said.
“The upcoming days are going to be rough for all of us, but we will get through it,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said in a statement. “I want to thank the community for their overwhelming show of support for these two men who dedicated their lives by helping others.”
Cole was not wearing a seat belt when his Jeep failed to make a left turn on La. 433, State Police said at the time. Cole overcorrected, lost control and the Jeep went into a ditch, where it flipped over.
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