Family describes toll of tragic crash, wants question answered - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Family describes toll of tragic crash, wants to know why suspect is free

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The Gaines family talked to Graham Ulkins about losing another loved one and wanting to know why Brett Gerald was allowed to bond out of jail. The Gaines family talked to Graham Ulkins about losing another loved one and wanting to know why Brett Gerald was allowed to bond out of jail.
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The grieving continues for the loved ones of those killed by an alleged drunk driver and the unimaginable pain turned into intense anger, as yet another victim passed away and the family wants to know why the suspect is allowed to be free.

Despite being emotionally drained and physically worn out, the Gaines family pushed on and said goodbye to yet another relative Sunday. The family decided to take Willie Gaines, 15, off life support and donate his organs.

"We went in as a family, knowing that they're about to pull him off the ventilator, so it was pretty hard for everybody," said John Gaines, a son, brother and uncle of the victims. "We're a close-knit family, supporting each other, but it's surreal still."

John Gaines said the decision to donate Willie's organs was difficult, but the right one to make.

"We knew that though life was lost, that it could help life. So, that's what it's all about and that's what my mother stood for and that's what it's all about and that's her legacy to help other people," he added.

That is what's giving this family strength as it prepares to bury five relatives. Family members spent the weekend finalizing funeral plans, including lining up 30 pallbearers, a daunting task in itself.

The other five victims of the crash were:

Brenda Gaines, 64 (Driver, Denise Gaines' mother)

Angela Mosely, 35 (Fellow church member)

Denise Gaines, 33 (Mother of Diamond, Jyren and two other teens in the vehicle)

Diamond Johnson, 12

Jyren Johnson, 6

"I lost a mom, I lost a sister, I lost two nephews," said Marcus Gaines, another son, brother and uncle of the victims. "And, this could have easily been your family or anybody else's family that this happened to."

The cars keep pulling and the support from the community grows. Her sons say the credit for that type of outreach from others goes to Brenda Gaines. They describe her as an incredible woman of God who reached out to so many in her life.

"She taught us. She preached to us and taught us and sometimes, we even got mad. But, now we understand. We truly understand. And, I thank God for her. I really do," John Gaines explained.

RJ Gaines, 13, was the seventh person in the car Wednesday night. He remains in critical condition. The families have announced the funeral arrangements for the people who died in the crash.

The service for all five Gaines family members will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Living Faith Christian Center on Winbourne Avenue. A benefit concert will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at New Hope Baptist Church on Greenwell Springs Road.

Mosley's visitation has been scheduled for Thursday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Richardson Funeral Home in Clinton. Funeral Services will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Galilee Baptist Church in Clinton.

A memorial account has been set up in the name of John Gaines at Chase bank for those who would like to donate to help with expenses.

With the wreck resulting in the loss of yet another loved one, this family can't help but wonder how the alleged drunk driver is able to walk free.

"A total of six people he killed and one on life support. Why is he back on the street? Someone answer that question," said Marcus Gaines.

Brett Gerald, 30, of Greensburg was arrested following the crash.

The Louisiana State Police reported his blood alcohol content (BAC) was .15g percent, which is nearly two times the legal limit.

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

The charges are expected to be upgraded now that Willie Gaines has also died.

Gerald was released from prison after posting a $256,500 bond early Thursday morning.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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