Sheriff: 6-year-old girl killed in 2-vehicle crash; man facing vehicular homicide, other charges

Officials in East Feliciana Parish said a driver will face several charges, including vehicular homicide, after a two-vehicle crash claimed a child’s life.
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 10:48 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST
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JACKSON, La. (WAFB) - Officials in East Feliciana Parish said a driver will face several charges, including vehicular homicide, after a two-vehicle crash claimed a child’s life on Friday, Nov. 25.

According to the East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office, Clara Carpenter, 6, died after being taken to a hospital. Officials said the child’s parents remained hospitalized as of Sunday, Nov. 26.

“I ask God to let me see her get married and be happy. You know, I was worried about me living long enough for her to grow up some. You know, you never think it goes the other way. It’s just not normal, it’s not natural,” says Alex Johnson who is the step-grandfather of Clara.

According to the East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office, Clara Carpenter, 6, died after being...
According to the East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office, Clara Carpenter, 6, died after being taken to a hospital.(Family members)

East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Jeff Travis said Kenneth King, 62, the driver of the other vehicle, was also injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. Travis added King will be booked on charges of vehicular homicide, negligent injuring (2 counts), reckless operation, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and open container. East Feliciana Sheriff’s Office tells WAFB that King was released from the hospital Monday, Nov. 28 and booked into East Feliciana Parish Prison. While he was in the hospital recovering, he did have around-the-clock guards.

According to officials, the crash happened on LA 10 in Jackson around 10 p.m.. Clara and her parents were headed home after post-Thanksgiving festivities Friday night. The family was just a few minutes from home. “They patched me through to the officer at the scene that was working the wreck. I own a wrecker company and whenever he said, ‘we are waiting on state police,’ I knew there was a fatality,” adds Johnson.

The Jackson Police Department is the lead investigating agency because the crash happened within city limits. The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police are assisting in the investigation.

Family members said the father of the child was driving at the time of the crash and needed surgery on his hand, wrist, and knee. The family added the child’s mother suffered broken bones as a result of the crash. “They are both destroyed, that was both them’s life, you know,” explains Johnson.

The East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office plans to conduct a full autopsy on the child to determine the exact manner and cause of death.

Clara’s family say ultimately they want justice, “It’s a void that will be never be filled, never, never. I don’t care if there are 13 more grandchildren, there won’t be ever be, I won’t say there won’t be something as special as Clara, but there won’t be another Clara. There won’t be, you know,” says Johnson.

Relatives of the girl and her parents said the other vehicle veered over into their lane but investigators have not yet confirmed that’s what happened.

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