Driver charged with vehicular homicide in death of recent graduate

Driver charged with vehicular homicide in death of recent graduate

Credit: Houma Courier

Driver charged with vehicular homicide in death of recent graduate

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Houma Courier

The driver blamed in a crash that killed a 17-year-old hours after his graduation Wednesday from Central Lafourche High has been charged with vehicular homicide, State Police said.

Michael Costello, 20, of Golden Meadow, was booked into Lafourche Parish jail today on charges that carry a maximum of 30 years of jail time if found guilty, said Troop C spokesman Evan Harrell.

Harrell said the charge of vehicular homicide comes when there is a death that was caused by some form of impairment.

Tyler Dufrene was driving south on La. 1 just north of the Valentine Bridge in a 1997 Jeep Cherokee when he was struck head-on by a 2005 Chevy Silverado pickup.

Costello was driving the truck north and crossed the centerline, hitting Dufrene's SUV, police said.

Dufrene was brain dead at 2:22 p.m. Thursday and put on life support to preserve his organs for donation to patients awaiting transplants. On Friday morning, doctors touched his hand and saw it move, but he died shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday.

Police said they suspect alcohol use by Costello was a factor. After the crash, he was taken to Ochsner-St. Anne Hospital in Raceland with what police described as minor injuries. A blood test is pending.

Costello was initially 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.

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