Councilman to meet with investigators after boy struck in Metairie crosswalk

Metairie Teen Death Folo

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish District 4 interim councilman Jack Rizzuto wants to review traffic signage and speak with sheriff's investigators about a 14-year-old boy who died after being hit by a car while trying to use a pedestrian crosswalk in Metairie Monday night.

Ryan Marchand died Tuesday evening at University Medical Center in New Orleans. At 6:53 p.m. Monday, a car struck Marchand, knocking him into a drainage canal along W. Metairie Road near N. Starrett Road.

"First of all, my heart goes out and prayers go out to the family of the young man," Rizzuto said. "I fully intend to get those answers from the sheriff's office of what truly happened at the accident."

Rizzuto said the signage in place along the mid-block crossing where Ryan was hit is up to national safety standards, but he said he would like to see if more is necessary to keep pedestrians and drivers safe.

"We want to do everything we can. We feel that the bridge was a safe area, but we want to be able to continue to enhance and make it better and more and more safer down the line," Rizzuto said.

There is visible signage to drivers and pedestrians using the crosswalk, but Ryan's family believes more signage and safety measures could be installed to prevent another tragedy.

"There's no flashers and there's no signal for the drivers to see if someone is coming across the bridge," said Ryan's aunt, Phillippa Tramell. "We saw that there's no transition off the foot bridge to the oncoming traffic. As a pedestrian, how do you know if a car is coming, and as a driver, how do you know a pedestrian is coming?"

The car involved in the accident had damage to the front driver's side during the collision. Jefferson Parish Sheriff's investigators did not cite the driver,  saying there was no reason to believe she was impaired.

Louisiana state law mandates that anyone involved in a fatal accident must submit to a blood test to see if impairment was a factor. However, the Sheriff's Office said in this case, investigators will not get a blood sample from the driver because Ryan passed away a day after the accident took place, and a blood test a day later would not give a definitive answer on whether the driver might have been impaired.

Ryan's family members have set up an account in his name with the Louisiana Central Credit Union to help with medical expenses.

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