Proposed bill turns tragedy into protection

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Katie Grantham
Local lawmaker works with parent to stop her tragedy from reoccurring

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Following the tragic death of a local girl, a Bossier City state representative has proposed a bill  making drug tests a requirement after serious auto accidents.

Raymond Crews (R-Bossier City) is seeking to extend a current law regarding drug testing following serious vehicle accidents. Presently, law enforcement officers can order a drug test for any driver involved in a collision in which a fatality occurs at the scene.

“I do think this will pass. At this time, we are making amendments as needed so it is properly verbalized. We want to make sure we protect law enforcement and the citizens,” Crews said.

State Representative Raymond Crews

The proposed bill stems from a wreck that occurred on Nov. 19, 2017, when 4-year-old Katie Grantham was riding in her mother’s vehicle and was struck at the intersection of Kingston and Benton Roads.

Katie was thrown from her booster seat and died just over a week after the accident occurred.

Crews said Katie’s mother, Morgan Grantham, will speak at a committee meeting Thursday.

“Morgan has done a great job of researching state laws and what has happened in the courts with similar cases. She’s really been engaging with all of the parties,” Crews said. Crews applauded Morgan’s resolve after losing her child. 

“Instead of sitting there doing nothing about it, Morgan took those extra steps to see what can be done to lessen the chances of this happening in the future.” 

According to authorities, the driver of the vehicle that struck Grantham presented no evidence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. He pleaded guilty to running a red light, was convicted for a traffic misdemeanor and sentenced to 10 days in jail.

“It is really encouraging to see that the community has really shown an outpouring of concern and heartfelt emotion about this,” Crews said.