Posted: Jun 13, 2011 9:05 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP
ABBEVILLE, La. (AP) - State police say charges against Gregory Menard, 52, are expected to be upgraded following the death of a second person in connection with his drunken driving arrest near Abbeville earlier this month.
The June 4 accident had already claimed the life of Menard's passenger, his brother, Kenneth Menard, 55, of Abbeville.
Sunday, troopers say Emily Landry, 23 of Lafayette, whose northbound car had been hit head-on by Menard's car, had also died.
Menard is already facing his fourth-offense driving while intoxicated charge, vehicular negligent injuring, passing in a no passing zone and vehicular homicide in connection with the accident.
Those charges are now expected to be upgraded to reflect Landry's death.
Troopers reported Menard was heading south on La. Highway 82 when he apparently attempted to pass several cars in a no passing zone, colliding head on with Landry's northbound vehicle.
Upon impact, Kenneth Menard, who was not wearing his seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.
Test have shown that Gregory Menard, who suffered moderate injuries in the crash, was intoxicated at the time, resulting in his fourth driving while intoxicated charge in the past 12 years.
Menard first pleaded guilty to a Sept. 4, 1999, first-offense DWI in March 2000.
He would be convicted of a second DWI offense in September 2004 and a third in June of 2009.
The third DWI charge came after officers stopped his vehicle as he was leaving an Alcoholic's Anonymous meeting near Abbeville.
Menard would receive a five-year sentence for that third DWI charge, all but one year of which was suspended.
According to court records, he was also required to pay a $2,000 fine, undergo substance-abuse counseling and install an ignition interlock device on his vehicle, though District Attorney Mike Harson said there were no restrictions on Menard's license at the time of the most recent accident.
If convicted of a fourth-offense DWI, Menard is facing up to 30 years in prison, at least two years of which must be served without benefit of probation, pardon or parole.
On each of the two expected vehicular homicide charges, Menard is facing up to 30-year in prison, at least three of which must be served without benefit of probation, pardon or parole.
It was not immediately known whether Menard has an attorney.