Police in Louisiana say impaired driver hits and kills Belton teenager who was walking down street

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BELTON, Mo. -- Friends and family said they are heartbroken after a Belton teen who was spending the summer in Louisiana was hit and killed by a car. Louisiana State Police said the driver of the car was impaired.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” said Gracie Dressler, the victim’s friend.

Friends said 17-year-old Rachelle Barnett was excited to be spending the summer with her dad in Louisiana.

“She would always talk about how she loved her dad so much and how she was really excited to be with him,” said Dressler.

Police told news affiliates in Louisiana that Kenneth Morse, 47, hit Barnett, who was walking down a street with a friend. Officers said he was transported to a local jail and booked for vehicular negligent injuring, vehicular homicide, open container, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. They said the crash is still under investigation.

Friends said Barnett went to Belton High School but would soon be a student in Louisiana. She was supposed to visit Kansas City in a few weeks for a friend’s birthday. Family members have started a GoFundMe account to raise money for her memorial service and to help pay to bring her body back to Kansas City.