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Tower Down - 06.11.22 (LA) "Updated 06.12.22"

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Tow truck driver killed in violent collision on I-10 shoulder near Irish Bayou, NOPD says


NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A flatbed tow truck driver working to remove a disabled van from the shoulder of Interstate 10 was killed early Saturday (June 11) when another vehicle smashed into the van from behind, New Orleans police said.


The identity of the 50-year-old victim has not been disclosed, but police said he died at the scene of the 2:43 a.m. crash.


The male driver of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that struck the disabled van sustained minor injuries. The NOPD identified him as 34-year-old Kirk Jefferson, and said he has been arrested on one count of vehicular homicide. If charged and convicted of the offense, Jefferson would face 5 to 30 years in state prison under Louisiana law.


The fatal crash occurred on the shoulder of the eastbound side of I-10 near Ridgeway Boulevard, an area known as Irish Bayou. Police said the tow truck driver was working to load the unoccupied van when Jefferson’s pickup struck the rear of the van, causing it to crash into the tow truck. The pickup left the road after the collision, coming to rest in a grassy area alongside the interstate.


The NOPD said traffic fatality detective Richard Chambers was investigating the collision. Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact Chambers at (504) 658-6205 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.


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Impaired motorist kills tow truck driver working along I-10 at Irish Bayou, police say

Victim was trying to hook up disabled van on highway's shoulder


A tow truck driver trying to hook up a disabled van along Interstate 10 was struck and killed by pickup truck early Saturday at Irish Bayou.


The New Orleans Police Department said the wrecker driver was preparing to tow the van from the right eastbound shoulder of I-10 near U.S. 11 when a Chevrolet Silverado pickup hit the rear of the van. The van crashed into the flatbed tow truck. First responders found the wrecker driver dead on the shoulder and the pickup in the grass along the highway.


The driver of the pickup, Kirk Jefferson, 34, sustained minor injuries and cooperated with investigators, police said. They booked him with vehicular homicide, a charge that incorporates driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 


Police were notified of the wreck at 2:43 a.m.

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New Orleans Police Department



UPDATE: The driver of the pickup truck involved in this crash, identified as Kirk Jefferson (pictured, black male, DOB: 08-21-1987), has been arrested on one count of vehicular homicide. He will be booked accordingly into the Orleans Parish Justice Center.


Anyone with additional information that can aid in the NOPD's investigation of a traffic fatality in the early hours today on I-10 East near Ridgeway Drive is asked to call Traffic Fatality Investigator Richard Chambers at 504-658-6205.

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Thoughts & Prayers to Family, Friends and Co-Workers. Another Tower Struck and another Tower Down Death Notification. I fear for all towers out there not just my own. I would not send one of out out there alone without an officer. Officers are quick to tow an abandoned but only a small percentage will wait for a tow. If they fear being there why are they placing a tow op at risk in the danger zone. Impaired Driver of course it was and for that the minimum should be 20 years. That means they should serve at least 10 years and not the 4.5 the Murderer of Corey Iodice is set to serve. R.I.P. Driver.

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As Devon says, "Sad AND preventable." Agreed! Moose is correct and to his point I just hafta' ask, if a call for on-highway tow or recovery services is between the hours of 2200 hours and sunrise, WHY are tow companies taking calls on highways without highway patrol or LE on-scene. Not that a DUI driver won't strike a parked police crusier as well as a tow truck, a cop car parked on-scene lends "visual presence" especially when tow trucks aren't allowed blue or reds in their emergency lighting. At some point enough is enough! Since 1928, nearly 600-tow operators have been killed in white-line or shoulder incidents. Suggestion: Perhaps all motor-club and private requests should be routed to 911 with towers only responding when a unit is on-scene?  Shouldn't towers see the value in lessons learned?       R.

Randall C. Resch

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