NEW ORLEANS -- Broken glass marks the spot where a deadly accident between a four-wheeler and a Pontiac Grand Prix occurred around 8:30 p.m. Monday night.
Police say the car was making a left turn from Chef Menteur Highway onto Majestic Oaks Drive when the ATV side-swiped the vehicle. Two dirt bikes were also involved in the crash.
The manager of a nearby motel, who did not want to be identified, witnessed the crash.
“As soon as they collided, he hit and did like a somersault over the car and landed face first into the ground,” they said.
The witness says the ATV rider died on the scene.
One of the dirt bike riders went to the hospital with critical injuries. The other dirt bike rider and the car’s driver sustained only minor injuries.
Police confirmed that the ATV and one of the dirt bikes were stolen.
“We know speed and careless operation was a contributing factor, besides operating these things without lights or anything,” said Lt. Anthony Micheu with NOPD’s Traffic Fatality Unit. “Completely careless.”
City Council President Stacy Head is urging the NOPD and City Adminstration to be more aggressive in enforcing the traffic laws and getting the off-road vehicles off the road.
“Make it very clear that this type of behavior won't be tolerated and then follow that up in very short order with an aggressive enforcement action by NOPD and frankly by our meter maids,” Head said.
Micheu noted that police get complaints all the time about people riding ATVs and dirt bikes on the street.
“We take them away,” Micheu said. “We sometimes confiscated them for reckless operation, arrests are made, charges are brought forth, sometimes they run.”
Witnesses to the crash say it appears the riders just weren’t paying attention.
“They're young, so they don't think about tomorrow,” one witness said. “I think that they need to start thinking about that.”
Micheu said the surviving riders will likely be booked with reckless operation of a vehicle, possibly theft and other charges.