Police say drug impaired driver caused fatal crash in Acadia

Previous offenses brought suspect little jail time

A man who is accused of killing a Church Point woman Christmas night while driving under the influence has a long history of criminal drug use and driving while impaired in Acadia Parish, court documents show.

But the driver, Jody Bourque, 48, of Branch, has spent little time in jail, those court records show.

State Police said Thursday he was booked for fourth-offense DWI as a result of Wednesday’s fatal accident, which cost the life of Germaine Garrick, 35, of Church Point.

Trooper 1st Class Stephen Hammons said Bourque was on drugs and driving his Dodge pickup on La. 35 when he crossed the center line shortly before 10 p.m. and collided head-on with a car being driven by Garrick.

Hammons said Garrick, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Acadia Parish Coroner’s Office.

The crash just north of Rayne also hurt two passengers in Garrick’s Oldsmobile, police said.

Mary Ann Garrick, 53, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to an area hospital with severe injuries. Rita Garrick, 39, was wearing seat restraints and received minor injuries.

Bourque was booked into the Acadia Parish Jail on a count of vehicular homicide, fourth-offense DWI, disabling an ignition interlock device, driving left of center, reckless operation of a vehicle and two counts of vehicular negligent injury.

Bourque faces up to 30 years in prison for the vehicular homicide count alone, Hammons said.

Hammons also said investigators believe Bourque was not impaired by alcohol, despite the DWI booking.

“We suspect him of being impaired on narcotics,” Hammons said.

Bourque, who stands 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds with brown hair and green eyes, has DWIs going back to at least 1995, according to Acadia Parish criminal court documents, where he also has felony drug crimes and assaults on his record.

Despite numerous arrests in cases that include allegations of drug abuse and distribution, assault, battery and other crimes, Bourque has spent little time in jail, records show.

In March 1995 Bourque was charged with his first DWI, and in April 2002 was charged again for suspected driving while intoxicated, according to the Acadia Parish Clerk of Court’s Office.

In June 2001 he was charged with second-degree battery; in 2003 he was charged with aggravated assault; in 2004 he was charged with resisting arrest and disturbing the peace by intoxication. All those charges were dismissed, records show.

In May 2003, he faced charges of possession of cocaine and Oxycodone, and possession with intent to distribute Alprazolam (Xanax) and marijuana but later made a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of marijuana while prosecutors dropped the other charges.

Bourque received a suspended six-month prison sentence and one year of probation, records show.

Bourque was arrested three times in three consecutive months in 2007 for drug violations, records show. The arrests were for distribution of hydrocodone in March, distribution of hydrocodone in April and distribution of cocaine in May.

He later agreed to a plea deal where he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and prosecutors dropped the three more serious charges. He received a suspended sentence of six months in jail and one year of probation.

In 2009, following a vehicle accident, Bourque was charged with a second-offense DWI, careless operation of a vehicle and two counts of negligent vehicular injury.

In another plea deal, the DWI charge was amended from second offense to first offense, for which Bourque again received a suspended six-month sentence.

Bourque served six months in jail for the negligent injury charges.

It was unclear Thursday if Bourque had been charged and jailed in other parishes.

Family members of Garrick said Thursday that they did not want to speak about her death.

According to Garrick’s Facebook page, she worked at Church Point Elementary School, liked the music of Alicia Keys and was a New Orleans Saints fan.