A 38-year-old Baton Rouge man accused of driving drunk March 30 when he rear-ended a car on the Mississippi River bridge, killing two people and injuring two others, was indicted Thursday on vehicular homicide and other charges.
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury charged Dedrick Deon Matthews with two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injuring.
Matthews, 423 Kay Drive, faces five to 30 years in prison on each vehicular homicide count if convicted.
Johnny Galmon, 26, and Kandace Cox, 19, both of Baton Rouge, died after the Honda they were riding in was struck by Matthews’ Dodge Charger shortly before 3 a.m., police have said. Two other women inside the Honda were treated at hospitals following the crash.
Both cars were headed west on the Interstate 10 bridge when the crash occurred.
Matthews told police he began the night as a sober, designated driver but later drank alcoholic beverages at a club and a casino before driving again, according to an affidavit of probable cause by Lt. Cory Reech, head of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s DWI Task Force.
Matthews and his passenger, who was not identified by police, left the casino and headed toward a club in Port Allen. Matthews was behind the wheel because he was the least intoxicated of the two, Reech said.
Matthews told investigators he was driving in the right lane of the bridge, speaking with his passenger when the crash happened.
Matthews also told police he did not feel impaired, but when asked if he thought his lack of sobriety and distraction with the passenger was a contributing factor in the crash, he replied, “Maybe so. I didn’t even see anybody,” according to the affidavit.
Matthews failed on four tries to provide a proper breath test sample at a police precinct, the affidavit says, and fell asleep continually while police tried to interview him and administer the breath tests.
The case has been assigned to state District Judge Tony Marabella.