Crash Claims Life of 13 Year Old in St. Martin Parish

The following is a news release from the Louisiana State Police:

St. Martin Parish- Today, troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop I investigated a single vehicle crash on LA 94 that claimed the life of a 13-year-old Parks girl.

According to investigating troopers, on April 30, 2010, shortly before 12:30 a.m., 18-year-old Joseph Early of Lafayette, LA, was driving a 2001 Daewoo east on LA 94 near Thelma Drive.  For unknown reasons Early crossed the center line and traveled off the north side of the road.  The vehicle struck an embankment and overturned several times.  The vehicle came to rest off of the road.

There were three occupants in the vehicle besides Early.  Two of the passengers, 17-year-old Joshua Knott of Carencro, LA, and a 16-year-old passenger sustained moderate injuries and were transported to a local area hospital.  The third passenger, 13-year-old Morgan Kimble of Parks, was killed as a result of the crash.  She was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Martin Parish Coroner.  Early sustained only minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Early was found to be impaired.  He submitted a proper breath sample which indicated he had a blood alcohol level of .043g%.  The legal limit for a person under 21 is .02g%.  Early was arrested and booked into the St. Martin Parish Jail on the following charges underage DWI, careless operation, two counts negligent injuring, negligent homicide, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, no seat belt, and no driver's license on person.

None of the occupants of the vehicle were wearing their seat belt.  The investigation is on going.

Troopers remind everyone that all persons riding in a motor vehicle must properly wear a seatbelt.  You have a greater chance of surviving a crash if you are properly restrained.