Quantcast
Connect with us

Tests show driver in Mardi Gras crash was legally drunk, police say

Published

on

A driver accused of injuring 28 people in New Orleans after plowing a pickup truck into a crowd watching a Mardi Gras parade had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit soon after the crash, police said on Sunday.

The suspect, identified as Neilson Rizzuto, 25, has been charged with two felony counts in the Saturday evening incident that brought chaos to one of the main events of the city’s signature pre-Lent celebration.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rizzuto’s blood alcohol level was measured at 0.232, well above the 0.08 limit, about two hours after he was taken into custody on Saturday, New Orleans police spokesman Michael Tidwell said in an email.

Rizzuto was charged with two felony counts of vehicular negligence injuring in the first degree, hit-and-run driving and the reckless operation of a motor vehicle, according to a statement earlier on Sunday.

The truck driven by Rizzuto was traveling on the side of the street open to traffic along the parade route in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans when it struck three other vehicles, including a dump truck. It then veered onto the median where a crowd of people stood watching the procession, police said.

Police immediately apprehended the driver, who according to eyewitnesses interviewed by Fox television affiliate WVEU-TV, appeared disheveled, glassy-eyed and under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In a statement, Mayor Mitch Landrieu referred to the suspect as a “drunk driver.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Video footage from the scene showed pandemonium immediately following the incident, but the Krewe of Endymion parade, the largest and most popular of numerous Mardi Gras season parades in New Orleans, continued with little or no interruption.

Of the 28 people injured, 21 were taken to local hospitals, including one police officer. Seven others who were hurt declined transport, Police Chief Michael Harrison told a news conference. Local media reports said 12 people were initially listed as critically injured.

A police spokeswoman said it was not certain when the suspect would make his first court appearance.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Orleans said its agents were “coordinating with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to determine whether a federal violation has occurred.”

Last May, a 25-year-old woman with a history of mental illness drove a car into crowds watching a homecoming parade at Oklahoma State University, killing four people and injuring more than 40 others.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by Catherine Koppel and Frank McGurty in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Alan Crosby and Peter Cooney)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year

Published

on

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was chosen as Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2019, the magazine announced Wednesday.

The 16-year-old has found herself in the role of spokesperson for a generation haunted by climate emergency since her solo strike against global warming outside Sweden's parliament last year.

The magazine cover has a picture of Thunberg with the subtitle "The Power of Youth."

.@GretaThunberg is TIME's 2019 Person of the Year #TIMEPOY https://t.co/YZ7U6Up76v pic.twitter.com/SWALBfeGl6

Continue Reading

Facebook

Ex-Bush official shreds Barr for serving Trump’s ‘authoritarian’ ambitions

Published

on

MSNBC's Elise Jordan busted Attorney General William Barr's hypocrisy on surveillance.

The "Morning Joe" contributor and former White House official in the George W. Bush administration, where Barr also served -- and helped build the surveillance state before going on to work for telecommunications companies that turned over customer data to the government.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Blast damages hospital near biggest US base in Afghanistan

Published

on

At least one person was killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded close to the largest US military base in Afghanistan Wednesday, damaging homes and a hospital under construction near Bagram Airfield, officials said.

The attack -- which has not yet been claimed -- comes as Washington resumed talks with the Taliban on Saturday, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America's longest war.

"The explosion happened in front of the gate of the Korean hospital which is almost adjacent to Bagram airfield," Parwan governor spokeswoman Wahida Shahkar said, referring to the US airbase located north of Kabul, in Parwan province.

Continue Reading