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Son of NOPD officer arrested after 2 killed, 7 injured when car slams bicyclists

The suspect is identified as 32-year-old Tashonty Toney. Police believe he was impaired at the time of the crash and are awaiting blood alcohol test results.

NEW ORLEANS — The son of an NOPD officer was arrested and booked with two counts of vehicular homicide and seven counts of vehicular injury, hit-and-run and reckless operation after a vehicle plowed into several bicyclists over a three-block area of Esplanade Avenue Saturday night.

The crash left two people dead, three more critical and four others injured. Police said they believe that Toney was impaired at the time and are awaiting blood alcohol test results. Toney's identification by police indicated that Saturday was his 32nd birthday.

A witness told The New Orleans Advocate that the driver of the car was "blind drunk." The crash occurred several blocks from the Krewe of Endymion parade, one of the city's largest and most popular.

RELATED: Family members 'in shock' to hear man responsible for crash that left 2 dead, 7 injured, report says

Five of the people injured in the crash were taken to University Medical Center. A sixth injured person refused treatment and a seventh person was later encouraged to seek treatment by police out of an abundance of caution.

According to New Orleans EMS, the two deceased were Sharree Walls, 30, and David Hynes, 31, from Seattle.

Those taken to the University Medical Center trauma center include a 56-year-old man, two 28-year-old women, a 62-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman.

A 65-year-old man refused EMS. No description was given of a seventh person who was encouraged to seek medical attention. 

A statement issued by police early Sunday morning said of Toney's relationship to an NOPD officer: "This discovery does not change and will not impact our department’s investigation which will be open and transparent."

The federal consent decree monitor was on the scene Saturday night and has been in contact with Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson during the early stages of the investigation.

Ferguson said that in the aftermath of the crash, in addition to EMS and police, several bystanders rendered aid to the injured. Ferguson also said that he was unsure if all of the victims were bicyclists, but that at least five to six of the victims were biking in a pack. 

According to police, after Toney struck the bicyclists, he rear-ended a vehicle which disabled his vehicle. He then got out of his vehicle and fled on foot until several witnesses in the area stopped him and kept him in the area until police units arrived. 

The NOPD said that several angles of surveillance video of the incident were also being examined.

"We do not believe at this time that this has anything to do with the Endymion parade," said Ferguson.

According to the NOPD, officers were alerted to a call of a vehicle crash shortly after 8 p.m. in the 2900 block of Esplanade and when they responded they realized there was a bigger scene.

Ferguson said that citizens also called to report a vehicle accident and thought they were rendering aid to the victim of a single-car crash, but soon it was apparent that he was the person responsible for the crash.

Ferguson's bond has been set at $510,000. 

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