David Ryan Leger, 29, of Palmetto faces five counts of vehicular homicide. Kelsye Hall, 22, of Baton Rouge is charged with five counts of negligent homicide.
The difference in the indictments is that Leger was legally drunk at the time, according to police.
The March 13 crash killed Kimberly Stagg, 19, and Effie “Liz” Fontenot, 29, both of Prairieville, and Fontenot’s three young sons — Austin Fontenot, 3, Hunter Johnson, 7, and Keagan Fontenot, 11.
Effie Fontenot was driving the car in which her sons and Stagg were riding.
Leger pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Monday. Hall will do the same on Wednesday, her attorney told The Advocate.
Leger’s attorney, Tommy Damico, said outside the courtroom their accident reconstruction analysis indicates Hall caused the accident.
“We’re contesting that my client was engaged in any type of road rage with her,” Damico said. “My client was just trying to get away from her.”
Hall’s attorney, Alfred Williams, countered in a separate interview an “impaired” Leger is to blame.
“Ms. Hall was at no fault,” Williams said, noting they have their own accident reconstruction expert.
“If anything Ms. Hall was the victim of road rage,” he said.
State Police Lt. Doug Cain has said Hall and Leger were involved in some sort of encounter while driving westbound on Interstate 10 that led to Hall intentionally preventing Leger from passing her vehicle.
At one point, Cain said, Hall was driving on the center line to keep Leger from passing on either side.
When Leger drove onto the right shoulder of the interstate in an attempt to pass Hall, she moved into the right lane as Leger was merging back onto the road, and the rear of his pickup clipped the front of Hall’s vehicle, Cain stated.
Leger’s truck spun out of control, crossed the median and collided head-on with Fontenot’s car. The car burst into flames.
Leger faces five to 30 years in prison on each count of vehicular homicide if convicted, while Hall faces two to five years on each negligent homicide count if convicted.