NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - When Joe Prine came out of his house around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, he saw an ambulance, cop cars and an elderly woman lying in the street on Elysian Fields.
"I just knew it was a terrible accident," Prine said.
A 71-year-old woman, trying to cross the busy intersection of Elysian Fields and North Dorgenois with a walker, was hit and killed.
"According to one witness, they were traveling in the middle lane when the saw the lady. At that point, they say they saw a mustang traveling at a high rate of speed behind them shift right and then strike the lady, flipping her up in the air over the car. They continued to travel down Elysian Fields towards the river," Lt. Antony Micheu said.
Police said the driver of a burnt orange Ford Mustang hit the woman and then took off. She died before help could arrive.
Gary Ballier did not know the victim, but said he has seen her around the area.
"She's been in the store at Melba's, over on Claiborne and Elysian Fields and here on Elysian Fields at Johnson. She's usually sitting in her chair asking for a couple of dollars," Ballier said.
Ballier says the victim seemed to walk everywhere, but at the busy intersection, walking across the street can be dangerous.
"Unless you cross at the cross walk and push the button on the pole, the lights won't change," Ballier said.
"That lady is probably one of three people that I know that's died at this intersection," Prine said.
They point to the traffic speeding by, along with the cars merging onto Elysian Fields and also the entrance to the I-10 just beyond the intersection.
On top of that, it is a place where people regularly cross on foot.
"You've got the truck stop. You have a good little restaurant here that a lot of people like to eat at, and you've got Lowe's right here," Prine said.
The NOPD admits it is dangerous, and they're asking drivers to be cautious in the area.
Right now, though, they're focused on finding the driver who hit an elderly woman and sped away from the scene.
If you know anything, you're asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 504-822-1111.