A Slidell Police Department motorcycle officer was seriously injured Sept. 25 while escorting a funeral procession on Gause Boulevard West near Slidell.
Officer Jason Seals, an SPD officer for more than a decade, was traveling westbound on U.S. 190 just after noon when a vehicle pulled in front of him as he left Honaker Funeral Home with the funeral procession. Seals slammed into the vehicle and was ejected from the motorcycle, landing at least 50 feet away.
At the scene of the accident, Adam Galloway, a trained paramedic and the father of a 25-year-old soldier who was being buried that day, saw Seals’ motorcycle down in the road. He jumped out of his car and rushed to the officer’s side to administer aid.
"I could tell he had labored breathing, possible head injury,” Galloway told a WWL-TV reporter a day after the accident. “Eventually, he responded after somebody called his name a few times, and he actually gripped my ex-wife's hand.”
An ambulance arrived a short time later and rushed Seals to the University Medical Center trauma center in New Orleans.
Slidell police had not detailed Seals' injuries as of the evening of Sept. 28, but police spokesman Daniel Seuzeneau said doctors are optimistic about the officer's long-term prognosis.
"We're limited in what we can say as far as his medical condition, but he's stable and he's improving every hour," Seuzeneau told WWL. "For him to still be with us right now is nothing short of a miracle," Seuzeneau said. "God was with him. There's no question about it."
State Police are investigating the accident. No citations had been issued as of Sept. 28.
A few hours after the accident, Slidell City Council members prayed for Seals' recovery as they began their regularly scheduled meeting. In his comments to close the meeting, Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer also asked for residents to pray, calling Seals a vital member of the police department and of "Team Slidell."
Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal was at Seals' side that night in New Orleans, rather than at his usual post in city council chambers.
"Please keep Jason Seals and his family in your thoughts and prayers," Fandal said in a post to his personal Facebook page on Sept. 25. "It’s hard to find the words that describe how I feel about each and every one of these men and women (with the SPD.) They are family and we are all lucky to have them."