Plaquemine man arrested on vehicular homicide, DWI and other charges after fatal collision

John Dupont

A Plaquemine man is in custody at Iberville Parish Jail on vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, drug possession, and other charges after a head-on collision Friday night that took the life of a Plaquemine woman.

Julia Patterson, 39, was pronounced dead on the scene from injuries she suffered in crash along La. 77 around 10 p.m. Friday, according to Trooper Taylor Scrantz, a spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop A.

Roger Brigalia, 41, was traveling with a passenger eastbound on La. 77 in a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado when he crossed the centerline and hit Patterson, who was driving a 2016 Nissan Altima.

Brigalia and his passenger sustained moderate injuries and were transported to an area hospital for treatment, Trooper Scrantz said.

Troopers arrested Brigalia once doctors medically cleared him from the hospital. He was booked on charges of vehicle negligent inuring, possession of Schedule I drugs, possession of Schedule II drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving left of center, and driving under suspension. The DWI charge was the first on record for Brigalia, according to Trooper Scrantz.

Bond has not been set on the charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injury, and the Schedule II and drug paraphernalia charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

Neither driver was restrained at the time of the collision.

The crash remains under investigation.

"Time and time again, troopers witness preventable motor crashes," Trooper Scrantz said. "Impairment and lack of seatbelt usage are primary causes of crashes across Louisiana."

Nearly half of the fatal crashes in Louisiana are caused by impaired drivers, he said.

"Louisiana State Police urge motorists to have a plan in place that includes a designated driver when consuming alcohol," Scrantz said. "Alcohol can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills and decrease reaction times."