Vermont man guilty of murder in wrong-way crash that killed 5 teens

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A man in Vermont was sentenced Wednesday in the death of the five teenagers killed in a crash after he drove the wrong way on an interstate highway.

The jury returned the verdict in the case of Steven Bourgoin on the second day of deliberations after a two-week trial in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.

The jury rejected the claim of Bourgoin that he was insane at the time of the October 2016 crash on Interstate 89 in Williston.

A jury found Steven Bourgoin guilty to murder charges in the October 2016 death of five teenagers, caused when he drove the wrong way on an interstate highway. He faces 20 years to life in prison on each count. (Ryan Mercer/Burlington Free Press via AP, Pool)


Bourgoin, 38, had pleaded not guilty to five counts of second-degree murder and other charges arising from the crash. He faces 20 years to life in prison on each count.

The crash killed Mary Harris, 16, of Moretown; Cyrus Zschau, 16, of Moretown; Liam Hale, 16, of Fayston; Janie Cozzi, 15, of Fayston; and Eli Brookens, 16, of Waterbury. Four of the teens attended Harwood Union High School in duxbury. Cozzi attended Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire.

Bourgoin was seriously injured and initially accused of the hospital.

Bourgoin, the lawyers recognized that he is the cause of the crash, but said that he was insane at the time. Psychiatrists testified that in the days prior to the crash, Bourgoin thought he was on a secret mission, in the assumption that he was in danger and thought he was on the conclusions of the lamps, radio and television-static about what to do.

The plaintiffs responded that Bourgoin was troubled at the time of the crash, struggling with custody, relationship and financial problems, but his condition did not meet the legal definition of crazy.


During the trial, prosecutors outlined how Bourgoin left his home that night, got on I-89 to the south and then he turned around, almost 90 km per hour to the north in the south lane. He came in collision with the car that the teenagers in Williston.

After the first crash, Bourgoin allegedly stolen from a Williston police cruiser and then back south on the interstate before turning around and crashing again in the vehicles in the original crash scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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