NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The driver accused of crashing his vehicle into an Endymion parade crowd, injuring 32 people and sending 23 to the hospital, appeared Sunday before a judge in magistrate court. Neilson Rizzuto, 25, has been charged with first-degree vehicular negligent injuring, hit and run driving and reckless operation of a vehicle.
His bond was set at $125,000. The judge also said that if Rizzuto posts bail, he will be required to wear an ankle monitor and stay on house arrest. In addition, he will also be barred from driving.
FOX 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti said his charges could increase if a victim does not survive the crash.
"If, God forbid one of these people die, then he will be charged again with vehicular homicide and because of his blood alcohol level, which was about three times the level to be drunk he would be looking at a mandatory minimum of at least five years in jail," Raspanti said.
According to documents obtained by FOX 8 News, one of the victims hurt in the incident has been identified as Shaunice Williams. She suffered a lacerated liver and internal injuries and was reported in critical condition.
Another victim has been identified as Lt. Michelle Woodfork with the New Orleans Police Department. She suffered injuries to her right leg/knee in addition to injuries to her right shoulder area. Woodfork is listed in stable condition.
The magistrate judge said if more charges are added Rizzuto's bond would likely increase and Raspanti said that could mean a longer sentence.
"He faces five years for one count, but if the judge wants to stack them on top of each other and run them consecutively, you can just do the math, but per count he faces 0 to 5 years," Raspanti said.