POSTED: Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 8:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 14, 2012 - 10:01am
ST. JAMES, LA — Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a fatal crash early this morning on US 61 south of Interstate 10 in St. James Parish. The investigation was initiated after St. James Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a possible vehicle in the bayou adjacent to the northbound lanes of US 61. The call came from a concerned family member of the two occupants who had been missing since the previous morning.
Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Drew J. Bourgeois, 26 of Mt. Airy, LA was driving a 2006 Pontiac G6 south on US 61 when the vehicle veered to the left and ran off the roadway into the median. As the vehicle entered the median, it began to rotate counter-clockwise. It then crossed the northbound lanes of US 61 continuing to travel southeast. The vehicle then entered the bayou, striking the water with its passenger side. Drew Bourgeois and his passenger, Darryl Bourgeois, 26 of Mt. Airy, LA, were both unrestrained when the crash occurred, and both were ejected from the vehicle. The vehicle came to rest on the bottom of the bayou out of sight.
St. James Sheriff’s Office and Gonzales Fire Department conducted searches in the water for the vehicle and the occupants this morning. Rescue divers with Gonzales Fire Department located the vehicle, and it was pulled from the water. A rescue diver continued searching the bayou in the immediate area and recovered both bodies.
Troopers do not believe impairment was a factor, and the crash remains under investigation. Troopers strongly urge motorists and all occupants to ALWAYS buckle up. The primary function of a seatbelt is to prevent ejection and to spread the forces of a crash over a wider part of the body to reduce injuries and fatalities. Seatbelts keep occupants seated properly and allow for a quicker escape from fire or water following a crash. The forces of a crash on the body often prove too much to overcome without the proper use of a seat belt.