NEW ORLEANS — A white sedan sat at the edge of Highway 90 near Venetian Isles, the windshield shattered, and the front end crumpled. On the roadway are small parts of shattered bicycles.
Police say four bicyclists were pedaling east in the right lane when the sedan, also eastbound in the right lane, struck two of them, killing a 36-year-old man and leaving a 40-year-old man in serious condition.
Eyewitness News photographer Russell Drewry was off duty and travelling in the area, arriving just after the accident as emergency crews rushed to help, but in one case it was too late.
"Could see that one of them had passed away," said Drewry. "His bike had been cut in half by the impact. I looked at the car involved, and the windshield was just shattered, like the body had struck it at a high rate. There was another bicyclist involved, and EMS treated him and took him away."
Police closed the stretch of Highway 90 during the investigation. While the highway is part of the route for Sunday's triathlon race, police point out it is a four-lane highway, and not an approved bike path.
Two people were in the car at the time of the collision.
"A man and his son," said Drewry. "The man looked to be in his mid-30s, and his son looked to be 12-13-years-old. And the son was shaken up. I could hear him, he was sobbing a little bit, as his father was walking him away to a police car for questioning."
Police say no charges have been filed, but the investigation continues.
The organizers of the Ironman Triathlon issued a statement, saying "We are deeply saddened to learn that one of our athletes, scheduled to participate in Sunday's triathlon, has passed, while another is critically injured. Our sympathy and thoughts are with all who have been affected by this tragic event."