Elderly woman dies in apparent head-on crash involving local fire truck


Livingston Parish Fire Protection District #5

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BRPROUD) – On Sunday, June 13, 85-year-old Gail Rippel, of Denham Springs was killed in a multi-vehicle crash.

The deadly crash took place at the intersection of Pete’s Hwy. and Bay St., according to the Denham Springs Police Department.

Two cars and a Livingston Parish Fire Protection District 5 engine were involved in the crash.

The drivers of each vehicle have been identified by DSPD as follows:

  • 23-year-old Cody Kahl was the driver of the fire truck
  • The second vehicle was driven by 65-year-old Louisa Costanza, Jr.
  • The third vehicle was driven by Gail Rippel

Kahl was taken to a local hospital and later released while Costanza, Jr. did not want any medical assistance.

Gail Rippel died at a local hospital from the injuries sustained in the crash.

According to the Denham Springs Police Department, “it has been determined that the District 5 engine and Costanza’s vehicle had been Northbound on Pete’s Hwy. and Rippel’s had been Southbound.”

At some point, Kuhl ran into the back of a trailer which was attempting to tow Louisa Costanza, Jr.’s vehicle from the scene.

After that, the fire truck “crossed the centerline striking Rippel’s vehicle.”

Investigators are awaiting toxicology results for Cody Kahl.

Livingston Parish Fire Protection District 5 released this statement about the deadly crash:

The investigation into this deadly crash remains ongoing.

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