Six dead in fatal car accident in Slaughter; family and MADD speak out

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POSTED: Monday, June 4, 2012 - 5:45pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 4, 2012 - 8:00pm

State police say the driver of the car in last week’s fatal crash near Slaughter, Brett Gerald, 30, has been arrested again.

A sixth victim, 15-year-old Willie Gaines Jr., died over the weekend.

The crash happened on LA-67, north of LA-412 last week; five people died at the scene.

Tonight, loved ones tell NBC33 News the family is hurting while dealing with the sudden loss of so many family members.

They also search for forgiveness for the man, accused of drunk driving who caused the crash.

"He hurt a lot of people… a lot of people are still hurting,” stated Johnathan Gaines, a family member of the victims. “I'll never forget this day. I forgive him, because my mom didn't raise me to hate anybody."

The family says there will be a benefit concert this Thursday at New Hope Baptist Church. An account has also been set up at Chase Bank in the name of Jonathan Gaines Sr. They say funeral services for the victims will be held on Friday.

The new state director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving says cases like the Brett Gerald case is the reason for strict DUI laws.

Gerald was first arrested on DUI in 2004. NBC33 has been told Gerald went through a pretrial diversion program, which means that means after going through a class and paying a fine, the charges were dropped.

According to state police, he was picked up again several years later.

If the first DUI wasn't dropped, police say Gerald would have been charged with this 3rd DUI last week.

The state director of MADD, Floyd Johnson, says that's what should of happened.

“The first charge should not have been dropped, and had it not been dropped, then maybe the penalty would have been more severe,” stated Johnson. “His driving privileges may have been revoked, and also, this family would have been alive today.”

Gerald is free on property bond tonight.

He's facing a string of charges including a second DUI and five counts of vehicular homicide. Those charges may be changed to reflect the sixth death associated with the crash over the weekend. 

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