NEW ORLEANS – Two people are dead and a suspect is in custody after a vehicle struck pedestrians on Esplanade Avenue tonight.
The incident occurred in the 3200 block of Esplanade just after 9 p.m., according to the NOPD.
Thirty-two-year-old Tashonty Toney was arrested on the scene.
Toney is the son of a NOPD officer, according to NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
The NOPD’s Federal Consent Decree Monitor has been called in to assist with the investigation since Toney is the son of an officer, Ferguson said.
It appears Toney was impaired at the time of the fatal collision, but blood tests are pending to confirm.
Toney has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of vehicular negligent injury, hit-and-run, and reckless operation.
While responding to another call nearby, officers received reports of bicyclists struck by a vehicle
The victims were spread over a three block span, Ferguson said.
Nine people were struck by the vehicle.
Two victims were pronounced dead on the scene, five victims were transported to the hospital, and one person refused treatment.
A ninth victim was brought to the hospital in a private vehicle.
Three of the five victims who were transported to the hospital by EMS were in critical condition.
A man and a woman, both approximately 30-years-old, died at the scene, while the other injured people range in age from 28-years-old to 65-years-old, according to EMS officials.
Bystanders provided CPR to some of the victims before first responders arrived on the scene, Ferguson said.
Other witnesses detained the suspect at the scene until police arrived.
“We do not believe at this point in time that this has anything to do with the Endymion parade,” Ferguson said.