Texas

City councilman given a pass in DWI stop gets busted days later after head-on crash

A man identified as Tom Bean City Councilman Ben Vincent is questioned on the side of the road in Whitewright, Texas, after being pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
A man identified as Tom Bean City Councilman Ben Vincent is questioned on the side of the road in Whitewright, Texas, after being pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Screenshot

A Tom Bean city councilman who was let go after a Saturday evening traffic stop in which he appeared to be intoxicated was involved in a head-on collision Thursday morning.

That city councilman, Benjamin Vincent, was arrested after the vehicle he was driving crashed into one driven by a Tom Bean ISD school official, according to both the Sherman Herald Democrat and Sherman TV station KXII.

Vincent was booked into the Grayson County Jail on a charge of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The first incident Saturday involving Vincent got a Whitewright cop Andrew LeFevre fired. On Saturday, LeFevre saw a vehicle traveling into an oncoming lane of traffic near the intersection of Texas 11 and U.S. 69. Whitewright, which sits in both Fannin and Grayson counties, is 85 miles northeast of Fort Worth.

Once he made the stop, LeFevre learned the driver was a city councilman from the neighboring town of Tom Bean, six miles west, according to KDFW Fox 4.

“During the course of the traffic stop, the driver was found to be heavily intoxicated and admitted to consuming an entire bottle of wine in the three-hour period preceding the stop,” the news release said. “Officer LeFevre made a decision to allow someone to come pick up the individual in lieu of making an arrest for Driving While Intoxicated.”

At the time of the traffic stop, LeFevre had a pending resignation with the city and was pursuing employment at another department.

“Statements were made on scene indicating that if Officer LeFevre was not leaving the department soon, the driver would have been arrested for DWI,” the news release said.

Whitewright Police Chief Beau Heistand said the behavior won’t be tolerated.

“The decision made by the officer is not the standard at which this agency operates,” Heistand said. “Effective immediately, Officer LeFevre is no longer employed with the Whitewright Police Department. I want the community and the general public to know we take our duties seriously. I will not tolerate deviations from effective and fair policing or outside circumstances to change the way we perform our duties.”

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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