NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - An arrest warrant was issued Monday for the man accused being drunk when he hit a New Orleans police officer while she was responding to a multi-car traffic accident on Interstate 10.
Chau Thai Nguyen, 33, faces first-degree vehicular negligent injuring and reckless operation. Nguyen remains hospitalized and will be booked once he is released. No photo of Nguyen was available.
The injured officer, Natasha Hunter, is in grave condition.
Police said at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Nguyen disregarded warning lights and roadway flares on I-10 near the Esplanade Avenue exit. He crashed his black Acura into the rear of Hunter's marked patrol vehicle at a high rate of speed, investigators said. Hunter sustained significant head trauma in the incident.
EMS brought Nguyen to the hospital for injuries he sustained during the crash. Officers conduct a Standard Field Sobriety Test and during questioning, they said they detected a strong odor of alcohol. Police said Nguyen later admitted to officers that he had had several drinks earlier in the night. Toxicology results are pending.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information should contact the NOPD Traffic Division at 504-658-6208.
Officer Hunter is 31-years-old and is a 12-year veteran of the NOPD.