7th victim of Slaughter crash dies

Willie Gaines and Rogerick Johnson Jr.
Willie Gaines and Rogerick Johnson Jr.
Jyran Johnson, Diamond Johnson, Denise Gaines, Brenda Gaines
Jyran Johnson, Diamond Johnson, Denise Gaines, Brenda Gaines

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The only surviving victim in a deadly car crash in Slaughter died Sunday afternoon. The Gaines family said Rogerick Johnson, 13, was taken off life support. He was one of seven victims in a car that was hit head on by an alleged drunk driver.

The initial crash happened Wednesday, May 30, 2012 around 10 p.m. Police say Grandmother Brenda Gaines was driving her daughter Denise Gaines and Denise's four children, Diamond Johnson, Jyran Johnson, Willie Gaines and Rogerick Johnson, Jr. Also in the vehicle was a fellow church member Angela Mosley.

The group was headed back to Baton Rouge from a bible study in Clinton, La.

Brenda, Denise, Diamond, Jyran and Angela were all killed instantly in the crash. Willie Gaines was taken off life support June 3, 2012. His family decided to donate his organs.

Police are saying the man who hit the car head-on was Brett Gerald, 30, of Greensburg. They believe he was out celebrating his 30th birthday and was under the influence of alcohol. After testing his Blood/Alcohol Content, police say Gerald's BAC was .15g%, which is nearly twice the legal limit of .08g%.

Gerald was arrested at the time of the crash and bonded out. When Willie Gaines passed away, he was arrested again and his charges were upgraded. He is currently charged with six counts of vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular negligence, second offense DWI, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and driving left of center.

This is not the first time Gerald has been charged with a DWI. Records show he was arrested in 2008 in East Feliciana for DWI, but served no jail time. Then last spring in Denham Springs, another DWI. He served 48 hours in jail for that.

Twentieth Judicial District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla said he could not prosecute Gerald on the 2008 DWI charge because his urine tested negative. However, Gerald admitted to a state trooper he was drinking beer.

D'Aquilla said even with a valid admission prosecutors still have to prove the blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.

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.

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