Two people have been killed and six injured after being struck by a vehicle on a busy New Orleans thoroughfare Saturday evening, authorities said.
Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson told local media that a suspect is in custody following an incident that happened about 8 p.m. Saturday along a multiple-block stretch of Esplanade Ave.
Ferguson said the suspect is being tested to determine whether he was intoxicated. His identity was not released. The police chief said bystanders in the area were the ones who stopped the driver.
“We were able to apprehend the subject so quickly because citizens stopped this individual, because they thought they were helping someone who had just been involved in a one-car accident,” Ferguson said.
EMS spokesman Jonathan Fourcade said a man and a woman, both about 30 years old, were killed. The injured ranged in age from 28 to 65. Five of the injured were taken to the hospital while one refused treatment, Fourcade said.
Photographs of the scene showed mangled bikes along the side of the street.
One onlooker, Dane Barrymore, told The New Orleans Advocate that he was smoking a cigarette outside a market when he saw a dark sports car speeding down the street. The driver swerved into the bike lane to try to go around a vehicle.
“It just happened there were people there — bicyclists,” Barrymore said. Barrymore said he saw two women and one man get struck. He said he went to help but it quickly became apparent that one of the women and the man didn’t survive.
The vehicle sped off down the block, hit another vehicle and then spun out into the median, Barrymore told the newspaper.
The incident happened not far from the Endymion parade, one of the city’s biggest Mardi Gras parades.