Locals demand change after second fatal hit-and-run crash on Canal Street in six months
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tensions are building for Jon’Quill Noel, a New Orleans native, sitting at the intersection of Canal and North Rampart Streets just hours after a man was hit by a white Chevy Camaro and left to die.
“I really feel like they need to fix these lights, because they’re not giving enough time for the people that are walking and riding bikes,” said Noel. “They say, ‘Share the road,’ but these people aren’t really sharing the road for the people riding bikes.”
The victim, whose age and identity have not been disclosed, was hit just after 5:30 on Mother’s Day morning near the Saenger Theater. He was declared dead at the scene.
The car believed to have struck the man was found abandoned in Metairie less than three hours later, but New Orleans Police have not found its driver, nor said if the car was reported stolen.
Visitors say they have felt safe downtown, but they are being careful.
“I think that sometimes the cars don’t respect the rules. They go so far and so fast,” said a woman visiting from Columbia. “Nothing’s happened to me yet, so I am thankful for the city really.”
This is the second hit-and-run death on Canal Street in the past six months.
Nicole McKeon, a wife and mother visiting from Arizona for her honeymoon, was struck and killed nearby last November by a driver who fled the scene and has not been found.
Noel says Canal Street pedestrians can’t take safety for granted.
“I wouldn’t really trust these lights and the hand signals and the stops and all. I wouldn’t really trust it, because at the end of the day, that really don’t matter to the people who are behind those other car wheels. At the end of the day, if they have something on their mind and they’re rushing to be somewhere, they’re going to run that light, and what if I’m walking? Then boom, I’m hit too,” said Noel. “They are already in a rush, so what are they going to do? Keep it pushing. They’re going to keep going, too. So, I try to wait until everything is out of my way, clear view, to cross the street. That’s my best option to do.”
The NOPD’s investigation of Sunday’s crash is ongoing. If you have information to help solve the case, call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.
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