JASPER, Ala. — A former Alabama deputy who, while intoxicated and speeding, killed a 14-year-old in an on-duty crash last year has been indicted for manslaughter in the boy’s death.
A Walker County grand jury on Monday indicted Blake Carter Hudson, of Carbon Hill, in the Aug. 2, 2019, death of Austin Aaron, who was riding an all-terrain vehicle when Hudson’s patrol car collided with the ATV.
“Mr. Hudson was booked into the Walker County Jail (Monday) and bonded out a short time after,” Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith said in a statement. According to court records, Hudson’s bail was set at $30,000.
The indictment states that Hudson, who will be 32 on Sunday, recklessly caused Aaron’s death by “driving his patrol vehicle at excessive speeds for the posted speed limit and/or driving his patrol vehicle in an unsafe manner for the circumstances for the driving conditions.”
The document further states that Hudson failed to activate his patrol vehicle’s emergency lights and siren. He was also under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, which took place at the intersection of Alabama Highway 269 and Old Tuscaloosa Road in Jasper.
It was not clear whether Hudson was en route to a call when the crash occurred.
According to AL.com, the teen was rushed to Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, where he died three days later. His family chose to donate his viable organs.
Because the crash involved a deputy, Smith turned the investigation over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The Daily Mountain Eagle, Walker County’s local newspaper, reported that Hudson has not been a deputy since August 2019, the month of the fatal crash.
The paper did not specify if Hudson resigned or was fired.
As Aaron fought for his life following the crash, Smith said in a statement that people in the small community of Jasper should not point fingers.
“This tragic accident has left a young boy clinging to life and a young man devastated,” Smith said. “This accident will forever change those two people, their families, and will have a ripple effect across our entire county.
“It’s at this very trying time that we, as a county, should fall to our knees and pray fervently for mercy and peace. Now is not the time to place blame. Not on the deputy, not on the young boy, and most definitely not on his parents.”
He urged citizens to pray for Aaron’s recovery and for God to “bring peace and calm to a deputy who is absolutely broken.”
On Wednesday, following Hudson’s indictment and arrest, Smith wrote that the indictment was “evidence that the administration of this department, in line with department protocol, was committed to providing the victim and his family with the fairest investigation possible by bringing in an outside agency.”
Smith called the indictment the first step in the process of closure for both families.
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