Causeway General Manager says higher guard rails would have prevented tragedy

Causeway General Manager says higher guard rails would have prevented tragedy

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - What happened Thursday morning brings Causeway General Manager, Carlton Dufrechou to tears.

"Our mission sincerely is to get all of our commuters back and forth safely and timely everyday and my entire staff strives for that. And when we lose people yeah, it hurts. And the thing that makes it most frustrating is this instance. It could have been prevented and that lives have been changed permanently," said Dufrechou.

Police say Olivia Matte was driving drunk at a high rate of speed when she rear-ended a Ford Ranger. Dufrechou says the ranger rode on the southbound guard railing for more than a 100 feet when pieces of it broke off. A portion pierced the window killing the driver, James Blackmond of Mississippi.

Dufrechou says the new guard rail system that is scheduled to be installed on the Causeway would have prevented the tragedy.

"New rails are designed to take the impact and just redirect the energy. That's exactly what would have happened," said Dufrechou.

While Dufrechou believes higher guard rails will save lives, he also says people shouldn't drink and drive.

"The bottom line is everything boils down to personable responsibility. It was. There isn't a better word for it. It was stupid for that situation to happen and it should not ever take place anywhere again," said Dufrechou.

The southbound lanes of the Causeway will be closed Sunday morning from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. That will give police a chance to complete their investigation and the guardrail that was damaged in yesterday's crash will also be fixed.

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