NOPD releases vehicle description in fatal hit-and-run

Cyclist killed in hit and run remembered
Police say the vehicle likely has significant damage to the front passenger's side. (Source: NOPD)
Police say the vehicle likely has significant damage to the front passenger's side. (Source: NOPD)

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Police have released a photo similar to the car that may have been involved in Monday's fatal hit and run of a bicyclist in the Marigny.

Police say the driver was in a black or gray Pontiac Vibe which now may have significant damage to the front passenger's side.

Friends of the man who was killed have placed a memorial "ghost bike" at the corner of Elysian Fields and Chartres where the accident happened. They say artist Ben Gregory was riding home from selling his work in the French Quarter when he was hit and left to die.

"It's just a dangerous city, a dangerous mode of transportation and things happen - people drive like maniacs here," Margaret Meinzer, Gregory's girlfriend, said.

She said Gregory was an avid artist who touched many lives with his craft, collaborating with Meinzer often and selling his creations at the Frenchmen Art Market.

"He was just a passionate artist and really friendly. He made a lot of people happy and he really was all about painting and drawing and sculpting himself," Meinzer said. "He was about encouraging everybody else to make their art, their music, their passion."

Now Meinzer hopes more drivers will be aware of cyclists, and if something happens, she hopes the driver will stop.

"I just want people to be more compassionate and brave, and if you screw up and hit somebody, you should stop and see if they're okay," Meinzer said.

Meinzer said Gregory wasn't wearing a helmet during the crash and while she's unsure if it would've saved his life, she encourages other riders to wear one  when they're on a bike.

Fatality Investigator Anthony Pontiff is in charge of the investigation and can be reached at (504) 658-6208

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