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Son of former State Police head gets 4-month suspension for deadly crash while on duty

3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago Friday, April 16 2021 Apr 16, 2021 April 16, 2021 6:16 AM April 16, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ TV

BATON ROUGE- Kaleb Reeves, the son of former State Police Superintendent Kevin Reeves, received the max allowable suspension after an at-fault crash last October that resulted in two deaths.

WBRZ's Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto has been asking State Police for weeks to confirm the suspension. State Police released a statement late Thursday morning confirming that Reeves is suspended for 720 hours. 

His suspension began April 14 and will last through Aug. 19.

"In accordance with disciplinary policies and his driving history with LSP, the discipline delivered to Trooper Reeves was in line with departmental precedent and standards," the State Police statement read in part.

WBRZ first filed a public records release for Reeves' discipline on March 23, 2021.  State Police said it would wait 45 days to release the information. 

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. Kajenne Lindsey, 18,  and her sister Anjenne Lindsey, 11, were riding in the backseat of their father's car at the time.

Crystal Bracknell watched Reeves slam into the back of the vehicle.

"It was horrifying," Bracknell said. "Seeing the car when it flipped and knowing something was wrong."

Reeves was driving a State Police-issued SUV.

Reeves has not been charged in relation to the wreck, as of Thursday morning (April 15). 

The same day State Police promised to release a news release, troopers arrested a truck driver who caused an unrelated deadly crash in Baton Rouge.  Trucker Marlin Jordan was charged with negligent homicide after a rear-end, chain-reaction crash on the Old Bridge.  In a news release Thursday morning about the separate, fatal crash involving the trucker, State Police wrote: "After conducting a thorough investigation and reviewing all of the evidence, Troopers were able to determine that Jordan’s actions leading up to the crash were negligent."

About Reeves' wreck in October 2020, an eyewitness said the trooper was not paying attention. 

"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 disciplinary letter also revealed Reeves was not wearing a seat belt during the deadly crash.

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.

Prior to arriving at Louisiana State Police, Kaleb Reeves worked for the Jackson Parish Sheriff's Office.

Through a public records request, the WBRZ Investigative Unit uncovered Reeves was involved in three crashes involving units in Jackson Parish. Just like State Police, Reeves was considered at-fault in two of the wrecks.

In 2017, lawmakers passed an exemption to Louisiana's ethics code to allow Reeves' son to keep working as a state trooper despite his father's promotion to the top spot. Kevin Reeves resigned amid numerous controversies weeks after his son's most recent wreck.

The State Office of Risk Management said it considers drivers high risk if they've been convicted of three or more moving violations in a year or a single conviction for a serious driving offense. Because Reeves has never been issued a citation in any of the crashes he's caused, he can keep driving.

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