Street race on Hayne Boulevard ends in death

NOPD discusses street racing

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Surveillance video shows a crash that left one man dead and a business heavily damaged in New Orleans East.

"They can't control their cars, and they hit my store," says Mubarak Ayyad.

Video from inside the Habibi Grocery and Meat Market on Hayne shows the impact that sent bottles of liquor crashing to the floor.

"They were driving too fast, and a lot of times, accidents happen because they're driving too fast," says Ayyad.

Police say the two vehicles were racing around 4 a.m. Thursday when they bumped into one another, causing both drivers to lose control. A man in a silver Toyota 4-Runner died.

Police say a white Chevy Tahoe flipped several times, littering the roadway with debris. Multiple people inside the SUVs were seen running from the area after the accident.

For the people who live and work in the area, racing along Hayne Boulevard is nothing new - and they're tried of it.

"Our place is right there. I've got two small children, and I always worry about people running into it," says Dan Hawkins.

"This is the turning point where everybody does burn outs right here late at night. Sometimes early in the daytime," says Tony Barton.

Tony Barton shows us where the drag races normally start. Left behind are the burn out marks in the middle of Hayne Boulevard. He says it's been known for years, if you want to race, go to Hayne to do it.

It's such a well-known spot, Barton is about to open up a new business on the corner. He's calling it Rim City Seafood.

"I'm Rim City. I'll sell everybody their wheels. Let's make a place for them," says Barton.

He's hoping to monopolize on what's happening in the area by selling rims in one part of the building and serving seafood in the other. Still, he knows drag racing can be dangerous.

"The street will hurt you. If you're going on that street over a hundred miles per hour, you'll lose your life," says Barton.

Knowing the dangers, Barton says he wishes that a legal drag racing strip would be constructed nearby.

"Look at all this land out here. We aren't doing nothing with it. Get one of these big companies or somebody to donate it," says Barton.

While it's unclear what prompted the fatal race on Hayne Boulevard, Barton says the roadway has always been a hot spot for racing and he doesn't see it changing anytime soon.

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