Weekend storms claim fourth victim in NWLA

Louisiana

HAUGHTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Violent storms that tore through Northwest Louisiana over the weekend and spawned at least one EF2 tornado have taken a fourth life.

The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office confirms 87-year-old Ira Jefferson passed away Tuesday from head injuries suffered early Saturday morning when the tornado struck his home in the 400 block of Davis Road in Haughton.

The EF2 tornado struck the home of 87-year-old Ira Jefferson

According to Jefferson’s great-grandson, Jefferson served in the Army and was a man who loved the Lord. 

“He was a man of God,” said Tracey Jefferson Jr. “He loved people. He was a comedian.”

Tracey lived with his great-grandfather. He said both men had plans to be away from home the night the tornado touched down. Tracey left, he said his great-grandfather became distracted by a favorite program on TV.

“We didn’t know about the weather, but we already had a schedule,” said Tracey. “But, I guess he got carried away about the Western.”

Jefferson was home when the storm struck. Tracey says a neighbor discovered Jefferson with extensive injuries.

“He had bleeding on the brain, his kidney was going down, he had a cut on his bottom leg, the glass went in there,” said Tracey. “And his finger, like half of it got cut off.”

Tuesday night Ira Jefferson passed away from those injuries. His great-grandson said he plans to rebuild on the property.

“He wanted me to be on this land,” said Tracey. “With or without him.”

Funeral arrangements for Jefferson are pending.

Jefferson lived on Davis Rd. next door to 79-year-old Jerry W. Franks and 65-year-old Mary Sue Franks, the couple who died during the tornado. 

Jerry and Mary Sue Franks were killed when an EF2 tornado ripped through their Bossier Parish home

Both of their homes were completely destroyed when the storm came through Bossier Parish around 1:30 a.m. Saturday with 135 MPH winds.

The EF2 tornado struck the Franks’ home early Saturday morning

The memorial service for the Franks was held Wednesday, Jan. 15, at First Baptist Church in Haughton.

One of the Franks’ three dogs was also killed. Another was injured, and a third is still missing.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said, “News like this is so devastating to hear. Losing three of our residents to this tornado is heart-breaking.  I encourage folks to pray and help where they can…it means so much.”

In Caddo Parish, 75-year-old Raymond Holden was killed when a large tree fell into his home in Oil City around 11 p.m. Friday as strong, gusty winds pushed through ahead of the storms.

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