Residents worry about Lakeshore Drive traffic after deadly accident

Residents worry about Lakeshore Drive traffic after deadly accident

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A lone bouquet of flowers lies in front of the tree that stopped a Dodge pick-up truck in it's tracks after the truck went careening off Lakeshore Drive Friday night. The sheer force of the crash caused the truck to buckle and sent debris and personal belongings of the victims flying. The man driving the pick-up and a young boy died. A female passenger was taken to the hospital.

"At night, it's dark, it's curvy, it's often wet," said David Myers, president of the Lakeshore Property Owners Association.

The speed limit on the stretch of road, just 25 miles per hour. Myers says that is rarely enforced.

"It's routinely people going much faster than that especially in this section where the restaurants are and the accident occurred," Myers explained.

In fact, Myers and others believe the trouble started back in the spring, when Lakeshore Drive went from one way traffic on weekends and at night, to all four lanes fully re-opening in both directions.

Lake Vista resident Joy Cohen says, "Before I think it was a lot slower traffic but now it seems like they use it as a drag race and go round and round and circle around."

Complaints were made to the levee board but Myers says like the NOPD, their police department is also experiencing a decrease in manpower because of budgetary issues. He suggests going back to the old method and shutting down the stretch along the lakefront again during some hours of the night. But not everyone agrees with the plan.

New Orleans resident Tabitha Banks says, "It's really sad, I mean anytime anybody dies, especially a child, it's really sad but accidents do happen, you can't close off every street."

Myers says he doesn't want to limit access to the lakefront, but just wants everyone to be safe.

New Orleans Police haven't yet said what caused the driver of the pick-up truck to lose control and hit the tree. The coroner's office also hasn't yet released the identity of the two killed.

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