Franklinton child killed in head-on collision

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A 4-year-old Franklinton child was killed in head-on collision Monday night that also left three adults hospitalized with serious injuries.

The two-vehicle accident occurred about 9 p.m. on Louisiana Highway 21 north of Varnado.

The child, identified as Lavonne Darlene-Theresa Beard, was improperly restrained in a booster seat with only a lap belt, according to Louisiana State Police Troop L.

Master Trooper Greg Marchand, spokesman for Troop L, said the child was riding in the back seat of a southbound 2006 Nissan Maxima operated by Linda D. Beard, 26, of Foxworth, Miss., when Beard’s vehicle veered to the left, crossed the center line and struck a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu head on.

The Malibu was driven by Joan K. Ezell, 55, with Robby Burke, 48, a passenger.

Marchand said the reason for the crash remains under investigation.

The Washington Parish Coroner’s Office pronounced the child dead at the scene. Linda Beard, who received serious injuries, was transported to the Interim LSU Hospital LEVEL 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans. Ezell and Burke, who also received serious injuries, were both transported to Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington.

All of the adults were properly restrained, Marchand said.

He said it is unknown if alcohol is a factor, and blood samples were taken from both drivers and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for toxicological analysis.

Linda Beard was initially been charged with two counts of negligent injuring. Marchand said further charges are possible, and the investigation is ongoing.