Rosepine police officer killed in Vernon crash - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Rosepine police officer killed in Vernon crash

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Leah Richmond) (Source: Leah Richmond)

There are heavy hearts in the Rosepine community today as news spreads of the death of one of the town's police officers.

Officer James E. Tipper, 42, of New Llano, was off duty and in a personal vehicle when he was killed in a two-vehicle crash early this morning.

Rosepine Mayor Donna Duvall said that Tipper was an asset to the town's small police force and to the entire Vernon Parish community. Tipper has been with the department since 1999.

"We are all very saddened … very much in grief and shock," Duvall told KPLC-TV. "It's a great loss to us all."

According to Louisiana State Police Troop E, the crash happened around 7:40 a.m. this morning on U.S. 171 at Leach Road.

Troopers say it involved a 2006 Nissan pickup, driven by 27-year-old Jeffrey C. Townsend, of Florida, and a 1985 AMC Jeep, driven by Tipper.

The Nissan was reportedly southbound on U.S. 171 when Townsend collided with Tipper's vehicle, which was southbound on U.S. 171 preparing to turn right onto Leach Road.

After the collision, Tipper's vehicle began overturning.

Townsend was reportedly not wearing his seatbelt, but was not injured. He was issued a citation for following too close.

Tipper was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected. He was transported to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria and was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after noon today.

Routine toxicology tests are pending. Troopers say the crash remains under investigation.

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