NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - At the start of their Lundi Gras march, the Krewe of Red Beans paid respects to one of their own.
The group’s founder Devin DuWolf, said Sherree Walls would have wanted the parade to go on without her.
“We’re trying to pay respects to her today and basically the day has kind of morphed into honoring her," DuWolf said. "This whole parade day is for her, basically.”
The 27-year-old was killed Saturday (March 4), in a crash on Esplanade Avenue that left another person dead and several others injured. New Orleans police said Tashonty Toney, 32, was speeding down Esplanade Avenue when he crashed into several people across a three-block span.
David Hynes, 31, was also killed.
Seven other people were also injured, many of whom were on bikes, including another Red Bean member.
“One of the women who was injured is also in our krewe, Gabriel Alcino. She’s recovering," DuWolf said. “We’re just thankful that she was not gravely injured in this tragedy. Certainly our thoughts and prayers are mainly on Sharree today.”
Before the parade kicked of its jaunt through the Marigny Monday afternoon, the Treme Brass Band played a traditional funeral song. But then, the music changed and the celebration of Walls’ life started.
“When something like this happens. There’s no guidebook to it. So, I think that we just had to do our best to think from our hearts and as compassionate people and as respectful as we can to her family and close friends," DuWolf said.
DuWolf said this incident is changing him and he wants lawmakers to do more.
“It really shouldn’t happened again," he said. "You know, I would urge all of our lawmakers and officials to really invest in the safety of bicycle riders and in the safety of everyone who is enjoying carnival. Because Sharree was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the fact is it could of really been any of us.”
The group’s sister krewe, the Dead Beans, also started their Bayou St. John parade by honoring Walls. In both parades, marchers carried signs reading, “We love you, Sherree.”
Among the other victims injured in the crash was Sophie Harris Vorhoff, the executive director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway. As of Monday afternoon, she remained in the intensive care unit at University Medical Center, according to the organization. Program Director Nellie Catzen was also injured in the crash and was released from the hospital on Sunday.
Walls and Hynes were also involved with the nonprofit.
Board President Kevin Centanni released a statement Monday expressing their sympathy and grief for the tragic accident.
“The board and staff of Friends of Lafitte Greenway along with their extended community of friends and family are reeling,” Centanni said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of David Hynes and Sharree Walls along with the others who were injured.”