UPDATE: The 31-year-old man and 27-year-old woman killed in New Orleans on Saturday night when a motorist thought to have been intoxicated struck them on Esplanade Avenue have been identified as David Hynes and Sharee Walls, our media partners at The Advocate report.
The driver, Tashonty Toney, faces two counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of vehicular negligent injuring, hit-and-run and reckless operation, New Orleans police spokesman Andy Cunningham said in a news release early Sunday. His 32nd birthday was Saturday, the Advocate reports.
To see the latest in The Advocate, click here.
Two people died and seven were injured in an accident on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans last night.
The crash happened at about 8 p.m. During a press conference last night, NOPD officials said at least eight people riding bikes on Esplanade were hit by the same driver; from the 3400 block down to the 3200 block.
When EMS and firefighters got to the scene, citizens were already rendering aid, including doing CPR on some victims, officials said.
Tashonty Toney, 32, was booked with two counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of vehicular negligent injuring, hit-and-run and reckless operation, according to an NOPD news release.
Investigators believe Toney was intoxicated when he drove into the victims about 8 p.m., and witnesses reported he was so inebriated he had to be revived. After he hit the bicyclists, his car crashed into the neutral ground and spun around in the 2900 block of Esplanade.
Citizens stopped to help him, thinking he had just been in an accident, NOPD officials said. But by the time officers arrived, the officers had information to know the car had struck several people, officials said.
Our media partners at The Advocate report that paramedics took a 56-year-old man, two 28-year-old women, a 62-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman to University Medical Center. Three of them were critically wounded.
A 65-year-old man who was hurt declined to be taken to the hospital. A ninth victim – whose age and gender weren’t immediately released – then took a private ride to the hospital, the Advocate reports.
Multiple witnesses said Toney was headed riverbound on Esplanade in a Camaro when he tried to pass another vehicle on the right. The sports car drifted into the cyclists’ lane and accelerated, reaching a speed one witness estimated at 80 mph, the Advocate reports.
After plowing into several people, the car struck Esplanade’s neutral ground, spun dramatically and came to a stop facing in the lakebound — or opposite — direction, the Advocate reports.
To read the Advocate’s full story, including the background they’ve obtained on the driver, click here.