CLINTON — State Police on Monday re-arrested the suspected drunken driver accused of killing five people in a May 30 head-on collision in East Feliciana Parish after a 15-year-old boy died this weekend of injuries suffered in the crash, authorities said.
Brett Gerald, 30, 12196 La. 10, Greensburg, will likely remain in the Parish Prison until a bail hearing on June 12, 20th Judicial District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said. Gerald had been released on bond on May 31.
Troopers Monday booked Gerald on a sixth count of vehicular homicide. Twentieth Judicial District Judge William G. Carmichael, who will preside over the case, did not set bail for Gerald on the new count, East Feliciana Parish Prison Warden Ray Newman said.
Trooper Russell Graham said Gerald was arrested on a warrant signed by 20th Judicial District Judge George H. Ware Jr. in the death of Willie Gaines Jr., 15, of Baton Rouge.
The teenager was hospitalized in Baton Rouge until recipients for his donated organs could be found on Sunday, family members said.
In addition to Willie Gaines Jr., the head-on collision claimed the lives of Brenda Gaines, 64, of Baton Rouge, the driver and passengers, Denise Gaines, 33; Diamond Johnson, 12; Jyran Johnson, 6; and Angela Mosely, 35.
A seventh person in the car, Rogerick Johnson Jr., 13, was critically injured in the crash. He is recovering at a New Orleans hospital, family members said.
Brenda Gaines is the mother of Denise Gaines and the grandmother of Diamond Johnson, Jyran Johnson, Willie Gaines Jr., and Rogerick Johnson Jr., family members said. Mosely was a friend of the family.
The Gaines family members were returning from Bible study in Wilson when the crash occurred.
Mosley’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Galilee Baptist Church, 9789 Wilson-Clinton Road, Wilson. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Richardson Funeral Home, 11816 Jackson St., Clinton.
The funeral for Brenda Gaines, Denise Gaines, Willie Gaines Jr., Diamond Johnson and Jyran Johnson will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Living Faith Christian Center, 6375 Winbourne Ave. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the Christian center.
A benefit concert will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at New Hope Baptist Church, 5856 Greenwell Springs Road. Money raised from the benefit will go toward paying the more than $46,000 funeral and burial costs for the Gaines and Johnson families. To make a donation without going to the benefit, contact Winnfield Funeral Home at (225) 357-2675. Family members also have set up an account at Chase Bank in the name of John Gaines Sr.
Troopers said Gerald was driving his pickup truck in the wrong lane of La. 67 south of Clinton near La. 412 when it crashed into the southbound car driven by Gaines at 9:12 p.m.
After being treated at a hospital for his injuries, troopers booked Gerald in Clinton on five counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular negligent injuring, second-offense driving while intoxicated, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and driving left of center, Graham said.
Gerald was released on bond Thursday after his family posted a property bond of more than $256,000, Newman said.
D’Aquilla said he will file formal charges against Gerald this week, including the six vehicular homicide counts.
In Louisiana, a person is presumed to be driving while intoxicated if the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.
Graham reported last week that Gerald’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.15 percent.
Prior to being booked in the fatal wreck, Gerald was arrested at least three times for drunken driving. He completed a pre-trial diversion program for a 2004 arrest in Assumption Parish.
He was arrested in 2008 in East Feliciana Parish for second-offense DWI, hit-and-run, improper lane usage and careless operation, but D’Aquilla said he was unable to verify that Gerald had been convicted of first-offense DWI. The district attorney later dropped the DWI count because he said Gerald refused a Breathalyzer test, leaving insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
Gerald was arrested again in Denham Springs in 2010, where he eventually was convicted of first-offense DWI.