The Parks and Recreation Commission Personnel Committee will hold a special called meeting 9 a.m. Friday at the department maintenance shop in Martin Luther King Jr. Park to discuss a recent accident in a city-owned vehicle by a department employee.
City and parks officials have declined to comment on the accident, which involved Saracen Landing Manager Trudy Redus and her son Trey Redus on a golf-cart- or mule-style utility vehicle, but said paperwork — insurance damage estimates and other information — might be ready in time for the Friday meeting.
According to a Pine Bluff Police Department report, Redus was driving east in the Saracen Landing parking lot at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday with Trey in the passenger seat. Redus reached down to pick up something, pulled to the right and struck a light pole in the parking lot. Trey fell out of the vehicle and cut his head, according to the report.
Two Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies — Courtney Kelly and Lafayette Woods Jr. — transported Redus and Trey in Kelly’s patrol car to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center emergency room, according to the report.
The vehicle, a Toro Workman MDX, was one of several new vehicles the department purchased recently with funds from the city tax increase approved by voters in February 2011. Department Director Angela Parker said the vehicle cost about $10,000. According to the report, it sustained damage that appeared to include a bent front axle and a broken brush guard.
Saracen Landing was host to the Harbor City Festival & Cook-off starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Redus, who is wife of Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr., organized the event. She was hired to the position in September 2010 by the Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Commission, one of the city’s independent commissions.
Officials have not commented about whether Redus took a drug test after the accident. Assistant City Attorney Joe Childers said that in the past, Parks Department employees have followed the same drug-testing procedures as other city employees. The city’s employee handbook drug testing policy states:
“In the event of a workplace accident, not necessarily resulting in an on-the-job injury, a city department head or supervisor may require those employees in the work group involved in the accident to submit to a drug/alcohol test,” it states, continuing with instructions to the department head of what procedures to follow to notify the Human Resources Department and the employee(s) to be tested.
Parker said she has not found anything in her research to suggest the department has a written policy concerning whether non-employees are allowed in department-owned vehicles.