Courts & Corrections

Toxicology report is in, but not public, in wrong-way driver case

Steven Bourgoin
Steven Bourgoin is arraigned in a makeshift courtroom Oct. 14 at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. Pool photo by Glenn Russell/The Burlington Free Press
An analysis for substances in the bloodstream of a driver who allegedly caused a deadly wrong-way crash on Interstate 89 last month has been completed.

Steven Bourgoin, 33, of Williston, is charged with five counts of second-degree murder in a crash that killed five central Vermont teens. Bourgoin pleaded not guilty at an arraignment at UVM Medical Center in Burlington last month.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney TJ Donovan confirmed Monday that his office received a toxicology report for Bourgoin about a week and a half ago. However, Donovan refused to address the contents of the report, citing confidentiality requirements.

Donovan said he anticipates in the normal course of a case that the report would be filed with the court, making it a public document.

However, Bourgoin is undergoing a court-ordered competency evaluation, which Donovan said is “the threshold issue” for how the case will proceed. If Bourgoin is determined to be competent, the report likely will be filed with the court, Donovan said.

Vermont First News reported that anonymous sources said the toxicology report found “significant” traces of THC, the active substance in marijuana, in Bourgoin’s blood.

Bourgoin’s ex-girlfriend told investigators that he had mood spells that he would calm with marijuana, according to court documents.

“When Steven is in these moods, it is usually because he ran out of marijuana, which he used to stabilize his mood swings,” she said, according to detectives. “It was always very evident when he was out (of marijuana), as he would be more angry and violent during those times.”

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Elizabeth Hewitt

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  • Rich Lachapelle

    This was no “accident”. Regardless of whatever substances he may have been under the influence of, this seems to be a clear (alleged) case of malice with aforethought and no “impairment” should be cited as influential in his decision to use an automobile as a murder weapon. Hopefully harboring anger and despair have not been elevated by Vermont’s wimpy criminal justice system to be valid excuses for committing violent crime. We really dont need any more “victimhood classes” for people to strive to be considered a member of to legally justify their aberrant, anti-social and pathological behavior. The very concept of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is rapidly fading as Vermont continues to sink deeper into the progressive cesspool.

  • Matt Fisken

    Having measured high levels of microwave radiation from radar installations in the neighborhood where Mr. Bourgoin lived, I wonder if investigators and the legal system will consider what has been known for some decades; that exposure to persistent pulses of radio frequencies has the ability to negatively affect people’s mental and physical health. While it seems pretty clear that this man’s actions were intentional and inexcusable, it would be a mistake to overlook the environmental conditions specific to the location of his residence which likely contributed to his horrific actions.

  • Julia Purdy

    “It was always very evident when he was out (of marijuana), as he would be more angry and violent during those times.” And we’re still expected to believe that marijuana is not addictive? When a person needs it to control “mood swings” (and marijuana itself is known to cause mood swings) that get out of control when the drug isn’t circulating in his system, that can be seen as setting up a craving, and craving is the essence of physiological and emotional addiction. A common definition of addiction among addiction counselors is “When you need more and more of what’s killing you” … and everyone around you.
    At this point, only an addict would deny that the drug of choice is addicting.