Beaumont Police Officer Lisa Beaulieu
It began with the roar of dozens of police motorcycles, but otherwise the motorcade escorting the body of a fallen Beaumont police officer was silent as it made its way through downtown Beaumont on Monday afternoon.
The hundreds of squad cars -- with red and blue lights flashing -- represented local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that came to pay their respects to fellow officer Lisa Beaulieu, who was killed April 27.
Beaulieu, 36, was struck by a suspected drunk driver while directing traffic at the scene of a motorcycle accident on the Eastex Freeway. She is the first woman on the Beaumont police force to die in the line of duty.
More than 1,000 friends, family and officers gathered May 30 at the Beaumont Civic Center to say farewell to Beaulieu, who was described as a tough officer despite her petite frame and youthful good looks. Following the two-hour funeral service, members of the Beaumont Police Department on motorcycles and in squad cars led the 20-mile journey to Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches. Patrol cars, EMS vehicles, fire trucks and other law enforcement vehicles from Jefferson and surrounding counties, parishes from Southwest Louisiana, Houston, Austin and other points around the state followed the hearse in a somber procession.
At the cemetery, Beaulieu's badge number was officially retired from the Beaumont Police Department.
Beaulieu began working for BPD in 1997 as a dispatcher and became an officer in 2001.
Around 1 a.m. April 27, Beaulieu was assisting on traffic control at a wreck involving two motorcycle drivers on the Eastex Freeway southbound, just south of the Delaware Street overpass. She had parked her vehicle in the outside lane of the overpass to block traffic when another vehicle approached the officer's car and stopped. Beaulieu walked to stopped car when a Chrysler Concord driven by a 24-year-old Beaumont man traveling southbound swerved to the right of the stopped vehicle. The Chrysler struck Beaulieu and she was thrown over the side of the freeway onto the service road below.
The officer suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead around 4 a.m. April 27 at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth.
The driver of the vehicle that struck Beaulieu remains in the Jefferson County Jail on charges of intoxication manslaughter.
Beaulieu was the 14th Beaumont officer killed in the line of duty.