NOPD Officer killed in hit and run accident - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

NOPD Officer killed in hit and run accident

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New Orleans-The New Orleans Police Department loses an officer in a hit and run accident on Interstate 10. Now, police are searching for the person and the car involved in the accident.

Early Sunday morning, Officer Rodney Thomas was heading home from work and driving on Interstate 10 Eastbound near the high rise when, police say, he was involved in a minor traffic accident. Superintendent Ronal Serpas explains, "Officer Thomas got out of his car and walked over to the other car to see if anyone was injured. While he was out of his vehicle, in full uniform, and wearing the high reflective vest that you see during Mardi Gras, he was struck by another vehicle which fled the scene without stopping to render aid or assistance."

Thomas died shortly after being hit. Serpas says the car that struck him is a 2011 or 2012 white Porsche Panamera. Police say the Porsche sustained major damage in the crash and parts of the car littered the roadway after the Porsche sped off, leaving behind evidence.

"We're pursing many, many leads. Our message to the driver, the drivers friends, to the drivers family, do the right thing, turn yourself in. You're not going to be able to run away from this," Serpas said.

Officer Thomas had been on the force since 2005 and is described by those who knew him as an up-beat, incredibly friendly man. Carla Jewell not only knew Thomas through her husband, a former NOPD officer, but she also served him coffee every morning at her business. Jewell says, "He's a beautiful man and anybody who knows him will tell you that. He would always come in with a smile, a compliment, never a bad word to say."

Serpas says, "Officer Thomas is exactly what we were looking for to turn this police department around. He's going to be incredibly missed by his family, his wife, his children, his extended family and certainly the people of New Orleans and this police department."

Investigators are combing through state records in an effort to locate the Porsche that hit Thomas. They're also looking at surveillance videos for evidence. Chief Serpas believes it's only a matter of time before the car and driver, are found.

Crimestoppers is offering a five thousand dollar reward for information about the hit and run. In addition, Crimestoppers is offering one thousand dollars for information leading to the location of the Porsche. The Crimestoppers number is 822-1111 and you can remain anonymous.

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