Calhoun County deputy struck by vehicle

Authorities say a gray Ford F-150 pickup with one headlamp struck and injured a deputy Friday morning.

A Port Lavaca man accused of striking a Calhoun County deputy has been arrested and is facing a felony hit-and-run charge.

Louis Paul Purswell, 57, was arrested Feb. 20 for failure to stop and render aid, said Sgt. Ruben San Miguel, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The crime, a state jail felony, carries a potential sentence of 180 days to two years in prison with a $10,000 fine.

As of Friday, Purswell was not in the Calhoun County Jail. Troopers arrested the driver after DPS completed an investigation at the request of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office.

He is accused of striking Deputy Trenton Ballard with his truck and injuring the deputy as he was directing traffic during an unrelated vehicle crash just outside Point Comfort on the morning of Feb. 8.

Although Ballard was rushed to a Houston hospital by helicopter with a severe concussion, the deputy has since returned to work, San Miguel said.

Purswell was identified and located in Palacios on the day of the wreck. Although he volunteered to answer investigators’ questions, authorities released him to give officers time to complete the investigation. According to court records, Purswell was arrested in 1986 for driving under the influence of alcohol and convicted. He has not been indicted.

Purswell could not be reached for comment.

Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached or 361-580-6515.

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Jon covers crime, public safety and the courts at the Victoria Advocate. Born in Huntsville, Ala., he grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism at Texas State University.

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