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Driver ‘murdered’ five teens in crash

January 8, 20174:08am

Truck driver Steven Bourgoin is facing murder charges over the deaths of five teenagers he killed in a shocking car accident in Vermont. Picture: Supplied

Staff writersNews Corp Australia Network

THE deaths of five teenagers in a shocking car accident that police say was caused by a “deliberate act” from a truck driver travelling on the wrong side of the road has been reclassified as murder.

The October crash, which killed five teenagers aged 15 to 16 from Vermont in the US, has been removed from the list of the state’s road toll for the last year, police said.

The scene of the crash that killed five teenagers. Picture: WCAX

The scene of the crash that killed five teenagers. Picture: WCAXSource:Supplied

Driver Steven Bourgoin, 36, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of murder and related charges alleging he caused the fatal crash.

According to The Times Argus, reclassifying the crash from “highway fatality” to “murder” is an effort to help block public access to the incident report, including the driver’s toxicology report.

Local police said they had found that Bourgoin had acted deliberately at the time of the crash.

Liam Hale was one of the five high school students who died in the crash. Picture: Facebook

Liam Hale was one of the five high school students who died in the crash. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

Cyrus Zschau was killed in the crash. Picture: Facebook

Cyrus Zschau was killed in the crash. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

“Based on the facts and circumstances we believe it was a deliberate act. It has been charged as a murder,” Vermont State Police Lieutenant John Flannigan said.

Police say Bourgoin crashed into the teenagers’ car while driving the wrong way on a local highway, then stole a police vehicle and crashed it into at least seven other cars.

Mary Harris, 16, was one of five teenagers who died in a shocking car crash. Picture: Facebook

Mary Harris, 16, was one of five teenagers who died in a shocking car crash. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

They say a toxicology report showed he had a high level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system. He was critically injured.

Bourdon was arraigned in October on a hospital bed in a makeshift courtroom at a hospital, while he recovered from the injuries he had sustained in the crash.

They say a toxicology report showed he had a high level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system. He was critically injured.

Eli Brookens, 16, was one of the victims. Picture: Facebook

Eli Brookens, 16, was one of the victims. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

Janie Cozzi, 15, died in the crash. Picture: Facebook

Janie Cozzi, 15, died in the crash. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

Four of the teenage victims attended the same high school. The fifth was from a high school in nearby New Hampshire.

Then-Chittenden County prosecutor TJ Donovan said Bourgoin displayed “a wanton disregard” for human life when he sped the wrong way on the highway while other motorists beeped at him to stop.

Bourgoin was going at an estimated 130km per hour at the time of the crash, Donovan said.

Killed in the crash were Mary Harris, 16, Cyrus Zschau, 16, Liam Hale, 16, Janie Cozzi, 15, and Eli Brookens, 16.

A week after the crash, Steven Bourgoin was brought to a makeshift courtroom to face charges over the deaths. Picture: Glenn Russell/The Burlington Free Press via AP, Pool

A week after the crash, Steven Bourgoin was brought to a makeshift courtroom to face charges over the deaths. Picture: Glenn Russell/The Burlington Free Press via AP, PoolSource:AP

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