Small community plagued with deaths, holds prayer service
WATSON - Hundreds of people from Livingston Parish gathered at Live Oak UMC to mourn the deaths of three people from this small community over the last few days.
Lolene Collyer 19, was in a car crash with an 18-wheeler on Thursday night. She suffered critical injuries and died Friday. Authorities believe Collyer turned into the path of the truck, which hit the driver's side of her car.
Over the weekend, 12-year-old Gavin Knapp lost his life over the weekend in a UTV accident. He was riding one of the vehicles when the driver of the vehicle made a sharp turn. The UTV flipped over, landing on Gavin. The driver of the UTV, Joshua Keith Tharpe, 36, was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. He has bonded out of jail. Knapp's funeral will be Tuesday at Live Oak UMC.
A third person was killed in a motorcycle accident. Ron Clark, 38, drifted from the right lane into the left lane and hit a highway sign and was thrown from his motorcycle, according to police.
Senior Pastor Dr. Mark Crosby said the Watson community is a close-knit family that came together to pray for the people who died.
"When you're hurting it doesn't matter your race, your color, your creed; when you're hurting you want somebody to be there for you and we all recognize the power of love when you are struggling with great pain," Crosby said.
Businesses are raising money to help cover funeral costs.