John Harper and Aline Carambat / Houma Courier
A Central Lafourche High graduate was brain dead Thursday morning from injuries he sustained Wednesday when his SUV was struck by a suspected drunk driver hours after commencement, authorities said.
Tyler Dufrene, 17, of Gheens, was pronounced brain dead Thursday at University Hospital in New Orleans, State Police Troop C spokesman Evan Harrell said this morning.
As doctors prepared to harvest his organs to be donated to patients awaiting transplant, Dufrene reportedly moved on his own, Harrell said. Doctors were doing another assessment this morning, and he was listed as critically injured and on life support.
Dufrene was driving south on La. 1 in a 1997 Jeep Cherokee about 11 p.m. Wednesday and was struck head on by a 2005 Chevy Silverado, according to Troop C.
The crash took place about 11 p.m. just north of the Valentine Bridge.
Michael Costello, 20, was traveling north in the Silverado and swerved across the centerline before striking Dufrene, troopers said.
Police said they suspect alcohol use by Costello was a factor. Costello was taken to Ochsner-St. Anne Hospital in Raceland with what police described as minor injuries.
Costello was booked Wednesday into the Lafourche Parish jail on charges of first degree vehicular negligent injury, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and failure to drive on the correct side of the road, authorities said. He was released Thursday on bonds totaling $36,050.
Blood tests for alcohol and drugs, required in all fatal crashes, are pending, police said.