'He wasn't paying attention': Witness describes state trooper's crash that killed 2 girls
MONROE - A witness who watched a Louisiana state trooper cause a crash that killed two people is explaining exactly what she witnessed on that fateful night, saying the crash happened because the trooper was not paying attention.
It comes as multiple sources have confirmed to the WBRZ Investigative Unit that Trooper Kaleb Reeves has returned to active duty at Troop F following an at-fault crash where two people died.
Reeves is the son of former State Police Superintendent Kevin Reeves. The younger Reeves became a trooper in 2017.
The double fatal crash happened late in the evening of Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. At the time of the crash, State Police said Reeves was responding to a call and slammed into the back of a sedan causing it to rotate.
Crystal Bracknell watched Reeves slam into the back of the car.
"It was horrifying," Bracknell said. "Seeing the car when it flipped and knowing something was wrong."
Reeves was driving a State Police-issued SUV.
"He wasn't paying attention," Bracknell said. "There was plenty of time to make a maneuver to get over. If he had his lights on the car, could have gone over and let him go on. There was none of that. Those children shouldn't have died."
The WBRZ Investigative Unit received crash documents through a public records request which indicated Reeves has been in three crashes since he started working for State Police three years ago. In addition to the deadly crash, records indicate an earlier accident was also considered Kaleb Reeves' fault.
In a crash investigation concerning the deadly wreck, documents reported witnesses saw Reeves driving at a high rate of speed without police emergency lights activated. Crash documents show there was no weather concern that evening, and a forecast suggested it was a clear night.
According to vehicle recording data obtained through the WBRZ public record request, Reeves was traveling 77 miles per in the five seconds before impacting the other vehicle. Data from the state SUV showed brakes were applied 2.5 second before impact. When the SUV collided with the back of the other vehicle, Reeves' vehicle was traveling 57 mph.
Two backseat passengers in the other vehicle, 18-year-old Kajenne Lindsey and 11-year-old Anjenne Lindsey, were killed.
Bracknell said she's speaking up because the truth needs to be told.
"When you hold citizens accountable, you need to hold everyone accountable no matter who it is," Bracknell said.
She believes a double standard exists and that if the roles were reversed someone else would have been ticketed immediately or arrested.
"I'm certain I would have been put in jail," Bracknell said. "But he should have at least got a ticket, at minimum."
Wednesday, WBRZ asked Louisiana State Police for a comment. No comment was provided at the time this story was initially published.
Kevin Reeves abruptly retired in October after his son's crash and amid a series of ongoing WBRZ reports about controversies within the department while he was superintendent.