||Lieutenant Joseph D. Ferris|
Troop K, Opelousas
February 23, 1968
On Friday, February 23, 1968, at 9:58 a.m., Lt. Joseph D. Ferris died as a result of a two car accident on LA 749
north of Opelousas, Louisiana.
Reports indicate that Lt. Ferris was traveling north on LA 749. His vehicle apparently went out of control on the
icy roadway surface, and slid into the opposing lane of travel. Lt. Ferris' vehicle was struck by a vehicle traveling
in the southbound lane.
Lt. Ferris was transported to the ER of Opelousas General Hospital. According to initial doctor's reports, Lt. Ferris
was in a state of coma, non-responsive, with marked respiratory distress. He was bleeding profusely from the nose and
ears, indicating a severe head injury. Intensive emergency care was give for a period of several hours. X-rays failed
to show a definite fracture. The initial shock was counteracted with blood transfusions and Lt. Ferris' vital signs
eventually stabilized. He was admitted to the hospital and observation was continued with the assistance of private
duty nurses. Late on the evening of the hospital admission date, there was a change in his physical findings, suggesting
an increase in inter-cranial pressure. It was decided that Lt. Ferris needed immediate surgery. Unfortunately, just
before the surgical procedure, Lt. Ferris died despite numerous attempts at resuscitation. An autopsy was performed
by the coroner with cause of death listed as "basal skull fracture."
At the time of his death, Lt. Joseph D. Ferris was 40 years old and had been with the State Police for seventeen
years, eight months and twenty-five days.