Authorities said a head-on collision that killed five people and critically injured two others Wednesday night may have been the result of drinking and driving. Family members of the victims say the group of seven people were heading home from church.
The crash happened on LA 67 near LA 412 in the town of Slaughter just before 10 p.m. Investigators said a 2007 Dodge pickup drove head-on into a 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis.
Brett Gerald, 30, of Greensburg was arrested and booked into the East Feliciana Parish Prison. The Louisiana State Police later released test results showing Gerald had a blood alcohol content of .15 at the time. Gerald faces the following charges:
- Vehicular homicide (5 counts)
- First-degree vehicular negligence injuring (2 counts)
- DWI (2nd offense)
- Reckless operation of a motor vehicle
- Driving left of center
Troopers have released the names of the victims in the car who died. They are all from Baton Rouge and were pronounced dead at the scene by the East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office. They were identified as:
- Brenda Gaines, 64 (Driver)
- Angela Mosely, 35
- Denise Gaines, 33
- Diamond Johnson, 12
- Jyren Johnson, 6
Two teens in the car suffered life-threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital.