GRANT PARISH, La. (WNTZ) – On April 28, 2023, at approximately 7:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on U.S. 71 near Louisiana Highway 1241. This crash claimed the lives of 24-year-old Joseph Kirk III of Boyce, 30-year-old Brittney Johnson of Colfax, and a 10-year-old juvenile of Colfax.
The initial investigation revealed that a 2004 Toyota Corolla, driven by Kirk, was southbound on U.S. 71. For reasons still under investigation, Kirk was attempting to pass multiple vehicles, but failed to yield to a northbound 2023 Mazda CX5. As a result, the Toyota impacted the Mazda head-on.
Kirk and the 10-year-old juvenile passenger, who were not restrained, sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced dead on scene. Johnson, who was restrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on scene. An additional 4-year-old juvenile passenger, who was not restrained, sustained severe injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The driver of the Mazda, who was restrained, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. Routine toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt is one of the most importance decisions that a motorist can make. While not all crashes are survivable, proper seat belt usage can greatly increase the chances of surviving a crash by spreading out those forces across the strong bones of the body and preventing ejection. Please be a responsible driver or a responsible passenger and buckle up every ride, every time.
For more information on child passenger safety visit the Louisiana Child Passenger Safety Law.
Louisiana State Police Troop E conduct monthly child passenger safety seat check-up events on every second Wednesday of each month from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event takes place at Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital, 501 Medical Center Drive, Alexandria, LA. No appointment is necessary, and it is always free
In 2023, Troop E has investigated 19 fatal crashes resulting in 22 deaths.