(RED RIVER PARISH, LA) - A Coushatta teenager is dead following a crash in Red River Parish involving a vehicle and two people. The accident happened Wednesday evening just east of US Highway 71.
According to Louisiana State Police Troop G, Lacey Ross, 19, and Rachel Barnette, 17, of Coushatta were walking on the side of LA 784, when they were hit by a westbound 2002 Buick Century driven by Kenneth Morse, 47, of Coushatta.
Barnette died from her injuries while Ross received minor injuries from the crash. Authorities say Morse was not injured in the crash, but he was impaired at the time of accident.
Morse was transported to the Red River Parish Jail and booked for vehicular negligent injuring, vehicular homicide, open container, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Both Lacey and Rachel had attended Red River High School in Coushatta. Principal J.C. Dickey told KTBS 3 News both girls were at the school on Wednesday and he met them for the first time. He says Lacey graduated in May and has plans to go into the military. Rachel, who was very involved with her church, was at the school to work out her schedule for the fall semester. She and her dad had only been in the community for about a year.
Two counselors are on hand at the school on Thursday for anyone who might feel like talking.
Each year, on Louisiana’s highways, numerous people are killed or seriously injured in automobile crashes that involve impaired drivers. In 2016, 52% of the fatal crashes in the Troop G area involved impaired drivers. Motorists are asked to designate a sober driver any time alcohol is consumed.
To report impaired drivers, motorists are encouraged to dial *LSP (*577) from their cellular phone or to contact their local law enforcement agency.