Impaired driver who plowed into bicyclists on Esplanade Avenue pleads guilty

Impaired driver who plowed into bicyclists on Esplanade Avenue pleads guilty
32-year-old Tashonty Toney was arrested on two counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of vehicular negligent injury, hit-and-run and reckless operation of a motor vehicle. (NOPD)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The man who allegedly drove drunk injuring several bicyclists and killing two others on Esplanade Avenue pleaded guilty Monday.

Tashonty Toney appeared in court Monday where he signed a plea agreement to 14 counts of negligent injury and hit and run regarding injuries to seven bicyclists.

Two people were also killed in the March 2 crash just after the Endymion parade.

27-year-old Sharee Walls of New Orleans and 31-year-old David Hynes of Seattle died.

Toney did not plead guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide. He wants to go to trial on those charges.

Attorneys are still arguing over Toney’s blood alcohol content on the night of the crash.

Defense attorney Ralph Whalen told Judge Laurie White that he is willing to admit that his client was the drunk driver who crashed into the bicyclist that night.

Whalen, though, disagrees and whether Tony’s blood alcohol level was above .20. What level would classify the vehicle homicide is a crime of violence, and that would raise his potential penalty. Police say Tony refused a breath test on the crash site.

When his blood was drawn several hours later, he tested at .14, over the states legal limit of .08.

Investigator said that from that number they determine that Tony’s blood alcohol level had been .215 at the time of the crash

The trial for the two vehicular homicides is expected to begin Oct. 28.

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