UPDATE 8/18/2022 — On Thursday, the New Orleans Police Department released more information on the deadly crash. According to reports, 29-year-old Barry Smith was the man who was struck on the Interstate. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force injuries. The incident is still under investigation.
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On August 15, the New Orleans Police Department began investigating a traffic fatality in New Orleans East near Little Woods. According to the NOPD, a male was struck on Interstate 10 East at Bullard Avenue just after midnight.
Initial police reports show that the victim was struck after he entered I-10 East on foot and crossed barriers. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene.
In response to the incident, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson held a media briefing to give more details on the investigation. Ferguson said that the incident happened while 7th District officers were involved in an authorized vehicle pursuit of a carjacking vehicle that was stolen on August 1.
According to the NOPD, police were trying to recover a black Chevy Equinox that was taken in the Fourth District in the 900 block of Nunez Street. The suspects in the vehicle did not comply when NOPD officers tried to stop them. The three individuals in the vehicle led officers on a chase and eventually abandoned the stolen vehicle on the I-10 service road. After leaving the vehicle, the three individuals ran away on foot from the police.
Ferguson said that two of the individuals fled into a neighborhood and the third individual jumped a fence and attempted to cross the Interstate, but failed after getting struck by a vehicle. “ The driver was visibly upset and concerned,” said Ferguson. The NOPD does not have any reason to believe that the driver was impaired during the time of the incident.
“Very disheartening situation never ever want to have that type of a result like that in doing our job. But this is one of the dangers of us doing our job,” said Ferguson.
The investigation is ongoing according to the police. The New Orleans Police Department is still looking for the two other individuals who occupied the vehicle and is asking for information on both of the incidents. The identity of the person who was killed in the incident has not been released.