May 24, 2019
Car Accident Lawyer
Seven people were hurt and two people killed by a driver on March 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana, reports the Mid-City Messenger (http://midcitymessenger.com/2019/03/02/nopd-investigating-deaths-on-esplanade-avenue/).
The deadly incident happened on Esplanade Avenue close to Ponce de Leon Street at around 8:00 pm. The site of the accident was a busy area in the city that forms part of the route for Endymion, a famous parade held during Mardi Gras. The driver, 32-year-old Tashonty Toney, fled the scene after the accident but was quickly caught by the New Orleans Police.
According to police, all nine people in the group were bicyclists involved in the state’s environmental justice movements. Toney crashed his Camaro through their bike lane, hit five parked cars and ended up on the pavement. He was going so fast that he pinned one of the bicyclists against a parked vehicle, law enforcement officials believe. Emergency responders pronounced two of the victims dead at the scene, and another three victims suffered serious injuries and were rushed to a nearby hospital.
At least one witness described the driver as “blind drunk,” and Toney admitted he had a problem to police at the scene shortly after he was found. He was allegedly so intoxicated that he passed out from trying to flee the police on foot after the accident and had to be revived once he was located. A group of witnesses say he asked if he had killed anyone and then told them to call his father, who is an officer with the New Orleans Police force.
Toney refused to take a blood test on the scene, but police were able to get a warrant for alcohol and drug testing and say they could smell the alcohol on his breath.
Toney was charged with vehicular negligent injury and homicide, reckless vehicle operation and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He did not speak at a recent hearing, at which his bond was set at just over $500,000.
This is not the first traffic accident along the famous parade route. In 2017, a drunk and speeding driver hit 28 people on Orleans Avenue right after the Endymion Parade. All 28 people in that case were hurt, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.
The investigation into this deadly crash is still ongoing, so police are asking anyone who may have any information regarding the incident to contact them.
Despite all the nationwide attention on the dangers of drunk driving and the tragic results it can have, people still do it everyday across the nation. In this tragic incident in Louisiana, the dangers that bicyclists face on the road from drivers is also apparent. Bicyclists have far less rider protection than drivers in vehicles do, so auto-bicycle accidents tend to have more serious consequences for the victim on the bike than anyone else.
If you were injured in a bike accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and injuries. Contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer Denver, CO offers about your case to protect your rights.
Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injuries and bicycle accidents.