Maurepas fire chief apologizes for smartphone incident

Maurepas Volunteer Fire Department Chief Samantha Breaud said Friday her firefighters were only issuing a warning, and not a threat, to a woman who used her smartphone to video an accident scene involving one of the department’s trucks.

Breaud said in a statement Friday that the department apologizes for any misunderstandings with the woman, Tracy Dickens, and will move forward.

“We are reviewing our policies at this time to see if any were broken,” Breaud’s statement says.

Dickens was sitting at her La. 22 home Sept. 26 when the truck flipped about 60 yards from her home.

Dickens attempted to use her smartphone to video crews flipping the truck upright.

A Maurepas volunteer firefighter, as well as a State Police trooper, told her to stop recording. Dickens has claimed she was threatened with jail time if she didn’t stop.

State Police apologized for the incident, Dickens has said. On Friday, she said she still wants a personal apology from the fire department.

Breaud initially declined comment about the incident, but she said Friday she was willing to speak after State Police finished its initial investigation into the crash.

Firefighters asked Dickens to stop recording the scene because they were worried about information leaking before the investigation was complete, Breaud said.

Breaud said State Police believe the driver was involved in a no-contact hit-and-run — meaning somebody may have swerved into the driver’s lane and did not make contact but caused the truck to crash.

State Police did not issue any tickets to the driver of the truck, Breaud said. Two witnesses confirmed to State Police that the driver was not speeding.