The Lafayette Police Department is mourning the loss of a 5½-year veteran who died from injuries suffered in an off-duty boating accident Saturday in Livingston Parish.
Cpl. Joel Grayson, 29, died after his boat propeller hit him, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. in Lake Maurepas between the Amite and Blind rivers.
Wildlife and Fisheries has said another boat drove too close to Grayson’s boat and clipped the rope to its anchor.
Grayson dove down to grab it and he was struck by the propeller after he came back up and attempted to climb into his boat from the back.
Authorities are not sure if the propeller was running when Grayson dove for his anchor or if something accidentally turned it on.
Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman Adam Einck said investigators do not suspect alcohol played a role in the accident. However, he said, a toxicology report has been ordered as is standard procedure.
Four other people were in the boat at the time of the incident, Einck said.
Grayson was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Grayson was assigned as a member of the department’s Crime Suppression Unit and was an operator on the department’s SWAT unit.
Grayson also was a recipient of the department’s Medal of Valor, its most prestigious honor, according to a police news release.
Police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said Grayson received the medal with another officer in connection with a 2008 officer-involved shooting. That incident occurred after officers entered a home on North Loop Street and found a man stabbing his ex-girlfriend.
The man, identified as Steven Pitte, died from the shooting.