By Associated Press - Friday, April 16, 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A Louisiana state trooper who is the son of the agency’s former leader was suspended for four and a half months without pay after investigators concluded his reckless driving caused a crash in Monroe last October that left a child and teenager dead from their injuries.

Kaleb Reeves received the maximum suspension allowed under state civil service rules, according to The Advocate.

State police officials announced the discipline decision in a news release Thursday, calling the crash preventable and reprimanding Reeves for his poor driving record. Investigators found he was driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit in this case, among other violations.

Reeves is the son of retired Col. Kevin Reeves, who was superintendent of the state police at the time of the Oct. 1 crash.

Kaleb Reeves was driving a marked state police SUV to another crash when he hit a Kia Forte in a wreck that killed two rear passengers, ages 11 and 18. Reeves was not injured.

Officials said that in addition to the 720-hour suspension, Reeves will face future restrictions on overtime hours and vehicle use. He must successfully complete additional training in remedial driving and patrol operations.

“All of these measures are directed toward correcting conduct to ensure that Trooper Reeves can safely perform his job duties upon his return to work,” officials said in a statement. “The tragic loss of life as a result of this incident will never be forgotten.”

State police leaders found that Reeves violated internal policies by driving too fast without his emergency lights on and failing to wear a seatbelt. He also violated a policy that requires troopers to avoid reckless driving.

The suspension announcement comes during a time of turmoil for the agency, where leaders face a series of scandals at the Monroe-based Troop F, including several incidents where troopers are accused of brutally beating Black suspects. Four troopers have been arrested in recent months.

State police leaders warned Reeves, who was involved in what was deemed another preventable crash in Winn Parish in September 2019, that any similar violations in the future would result in more serious discipline, including possible termination.

The disciplinary letter was signed by Col. Lamar Davis, who was named state police superintendent last fall after Kevin Reeves retired from the position - less than a month after his son was involved in the fatal crash.

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