Witnesses to Chef Highway wreck say aftermath is unforgettable

A day after the tragic crash on Chef Menteur Highway, nearby business owners are cleaning up the aftermath, and dealing with the shock.

NEW ORLEANS - A day after the tragic crash on Chef Menteur Highway, nearby business owners are cleaning up the aftermath and dealing with the shock.

"We were just standing right there when you heard a bang, I was there putting the garbage out. I said 'somebody had a wreck,'" recalled Kevin Mars, who manages a motel near the wreck.

It was just seconds before the crash that Mars and a neighbor were greeting each other as they worked on their properties.

The crash was just on the other side of where Mars stood, emptying trash. But moments before that, Mars' brother was on Chef Menteur, nearing his turn to see Kevin.

"I'm looking through my rearview mirror, I'm looking at the white car coming up real fast, so I'm thinking either he drunk or something like that so I get out of his way," said Gerald Mars.

Gerald Mars said that just as soon as he did that, the driver swerved between two cars, and he says the driver hit the white box truck and crashed into Jude Travel Center, near Lonely Oak, and Chef.

Gerald then passed the wreck as he pulls over.

"I saw the dude get out of the driver seat and he walked around the back of the car, and he looked like he was upset like he was saying damn or something at what had happened and the next thing I know I hear a gunshot, and I see him collapse," Gerald said.

Recalling what happened, Kevin Mars said if he weren't paying attention he would not have been about to get out of the way.

"It really didn't look like if it was a chase, it just looked like he was flying down the street at first, and then after a couple of seconds, then you see the police pull up."

Despite the brush to possible injury, the two brothers say they're more concerned for the family of those who died, especially two-year-old Ivory Washington who was ejected from the crash.

"You know I say, in New Orleans, you see a lot and I done seen a lot, but you never have seen enough if there's a child involved," Mars said.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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