NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The 37-year old mother of two, hospitalized after an ATV accident has been taken off of life support. Now the hit and run driver is the subject of a homicide investigation.
“She was at the wrong place, at the wrong time,” Vegas Cola said.
Vegas Cola is struggling to cope with her sister’s untimely death.
The 37-year old mother of two had been in a coma since being struck by an ATV in what was a hit and run accident.
It happened July 27th outside of a popular night club, located at the intersection of North Claiborne and Columbus Street.
Security camera video shows the driver lose control and flip his ATV several times before hitting Daphne Cola and a parked car. Investigators say he then fled the scene.
“It’s just disgusting, it’s really unfathomable to think that somebody would leave a human being, lying there without any assistance or any care,” Lt. Anthony Micheu said.
Daphne was rushed to the hospital with two broken legs and severe head trauma.
Doctors declared her brain dead.
“They never gave us the hope or the idea that she was, that she was going to pull out of it. We prayed. We continued to ask for a miracle, but the very first test that they gave, she had no response what so ever,” Cola said.
New Orleans Police have been searching for the hit and run driver.
The search continues in what is now a homicide investigation.
“We have been receiving calls based on the hit and run, which now turned into a fatality and my fatality investigators are very good at what they do so they’re out there actively getting more leads,” Micheu said.
Vegas is still puzzled why anyone would drive an ATV down a city street at a high rate of speed.
“It’s one of the most dangerous vehicles on the street and in a neighborhood,” Cola said.
And it’s illegal.
“Yeah, that’s an issue that we’re dealing with and we continue to deal with and we’re constantly trying to combat that through enforcement efforts,” Micheu said.
Vegas is urging the driver to do the right thing.
“It’s an accident; you still have to turn yourself in.”
Micheu said, “We do have evidence on the scene. We have evidence with the video, we have a lot of people who were out there that knows what happened and we do believe those individuals that are responsible are in that area.”
Police are not only searching for the male driver, they’re also looking for the female passenger.
She took could face charges.
Investigators are following strong leads. They’re confident they’ll eventually make an arrest. Still they want more help from the public. Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Crimestoppers (504) 822-1111.
Daphne Cola had no health insurance. Family members have set up a fundraising account in her name at Capital One Bank to help pay for funeral expenses.