Authorities have reported that the motorist who stuck and fatally injured a 32-year-old New Orleans Police Department officer during the early morning hours of June 5 may have been intoxicated. The officer succumbed to her injuries on June 7. A warrant for the arrest of the 33-year-old alleged drunk driver was issued on June 6. The NOPD announced at that time that the man would be charged and taken into custody after being released from a hospital.
According to reports, the officer was investigating an accident involving several vehicles when she was struck. The incident took place on Interstate 10 near Esplanade Avenue in the Treme-Lafitte neighborhood at about 2:30 a.m. Police reports indicate that the alleged drunk driver ignored roadway flares and warning lights before striking the rear of the officer’s patrol vehicle, which was on the shoulder at the time.
Police officers arriving at the scene say that the driver involved seemed disorientated and his breath smelled powerfully of alcohol. The man is said to have admitted to officers that he consumed several alcoholic drinks before getting behind the wheel. He was to have been charged with the reckless operation of a motor vehicle and first-degree negligent injuring with a motor vehicle, but reports indicate that new counts will almost certainly be added in light of the officer’s death.
Drunk drivers injure or kill thousands of road users every year, and personal injury attorneys may seek civil remedies on behalf of accident victims or the dependent family members of those who lose their lives. The injuries suffered in car accidents often require months of painful treatment and difficult physical therapy, and attorneys may seek compensation for lost income in addition to health care costs and other expenses when accident victims are unable to work for significant periods.