UPDATE: Impaired driver who caused crash that killed five was nearly twice legal limit
POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Monday, June 4, 2012 - 4:23am
EAST FELICIANA, LA — UPDATE: The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab has returned test results on Gerald’s blood sample taken the night of the crash. His blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.15g%, nearly twice the legal limit.
ORIGINAL STORY: Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a two-vehicle head on crash last night that resulted in five deaths and two critical injuries. The crash occurred on LA 67 north of LA 412 in East Feliciana Parish shortly before 10:00 pm.
Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Brett Gerald, 30, of Greensburg, LA was driving a 2007 Dodge pickup north on LA 67 in the southbound lane when he struck a 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis head on.
The driver and four additional occupants of the Grand Marquis were killed instantly and were pronounced deceased on the scene by the East Feliciana Coroner’s Office. The two additional occupants of the Grand Marquis were transported to local hospital with critical injuries.
Gerald sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Troopers have submitted blood samples of both drivers to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis.
The driver of the Grand Marquis was identified as Brenda Gaines, 64, of Baton Rouge. Three of the four passengers killed in the crash have been identified as Angela Mosely, 35; Denise Gaines, 33; Diamond Johnson, 12; Jyren Johnson, 6.
Two additional occupants (both teenagers) sustained life-threatening injuries and were transported to local hospitals. Seat belt use in the Grand Marquis is unknown and Troopers are still attempting to determine the seating positions of the occupants. The crash remains under investigation.
Troopers have booked Gerald into the East Feliciana Parish Prison on charges of DWI (2nd Offense), vehicular homicide (5 counts), First-degree vehicular negligent injuring (2 counts), reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and driving left of center. Impairment is not suspected on the part of Brenda Gaines.
Impaired driving continues to be a major problem throughout Louisiana. While Troopers have seen the number of deaths and serious injuries due to impaired drivers continue to decrease in recent years, there is still work to be done. Troopers will continue to enforce Louisiana’s DWI laws across the state and remain committed to a public education campaign to end impaired driving. There are too many alternatives available for someone to make the foolish decision to driver impaired. Have a plan, designate a driver, call a cab, or simply do not drink…these are just a few of the things people can do to avoid getting behind the wheel impaired.