NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -State Police have upgraded the charges against a teenager accused of a killing a man during a Metairie drag raceafter his toxicology tests came back positive for marijuana, according to a report by our partners NOLA.com | The Times Picayune
State Police confirmed to our partners that Jourdan Marchese, 18, of New Orleans, was booked with vehicular homicide and first-degree vehicular negligent injuring in the death of 70-year-old Rafael Canessa Sr.
“The charges were upgraded (Thursday, Oct. 12) after we received the toxicology tests performed by the State Police crime indicated there were drugs in his system,” said Trooper Melissa Matey, spokeswoman for the department.
Bond on the upgraded charges was set at $260,000. Marchese was being held Tuesday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna, according to the report.
Investigators said Marchese was traveling north on US 61 at a very high rate of speed when he steered his Mustang on to the right shoulder in an attempt to pass another car. While traveling on the shoulder, Marchese lost control of the Mustang, struck a curb and entered a business parking lot. The Mustang then hit the driver’s side door of a Toyota Tundra occupied by Rafael Canessa Sr.
The crash happened on Airline Highway and Elise Street.
The force of the crash caused both vehicles to travel approximately 80 feet before coming to rest.
Canessa was taken to Ochsner Main Campus, where he was pronounced dead. Marchese was taken to University Medical Center in serious condition.
Investigators said excessive speed was a factor in the crash. Impairment is unknown, but toxicology test results are pending, as are criminal charges.