2 dead, 6 hurt after car hits them in New Orleans; witness describes driver as ‘blind drunk’

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Two people were struck by a car and killed and at least six others were injured in New Orleans on Saturday night by a motorist a witness said was so intoxicated he had to be revived after the crash, describing the man as “blind drunk.”

New Orleans police said they had arrested the driver, though he was not immediately identified. Police said the incident happened about 8 p.m. around the 3200 block of Esplanade Avenue, a few blocks away from where the superkrewe Endymion’s parade passed.

The two victims pronounced dead at the scene were a man and a woman, each around 30 years old, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services Lt. Jonathan Fourcade said. Five others were taken to University Medical Center for treatment: a 56-year-old man, two 28-year-old women, a 62-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman. Three of those people were critically wounded, city officials said.

The eighth person struck, a 65-year-old man, declined to be taken to the hospital.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said most of the victims were bicyclists who were struck in between the 3200 and 3400 blocks of Esplanade, a busy corridor in the Bayou St. John neighborhood. The driver eventually came to a stop in the 2900 block of Esplanade, meaning his trail of destruction spanned at least five blocks.

Ferguson said paramedics, police and firefighters had arrived on the scene quickly and had found passersby giving aid — including CPR — to the victims.

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