A 32-year-old New Orleans police officer with 11 years on the force has passed away following injuries she sustained when her police unit SUV was struck from behind by a suspected drunk driver during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 5th.
The officer had remained in her marked police vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder of the I-10, after setting up road flares and turning on her emergency lights to help divert traffic from a multi-car accident that was being investigated by several other members of the NOPD further up the road. In spite of the warning lights and flares, an oncoming driver swerved suddenly directly into the back of the officer’s vehicle.
She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she remained unresponsive and in critical condition before her death on Tuesday, June 7th. The 33-year-old driver of the car that collided with the officer’s unit, was also transported to hospital and treated for the injuries he sustained in the crash. Following the death of the officer, a New Orleans magistrate commissioner charged Nguyen with vehicular homicide and set his bond at $1 million. He is currently in police custody.
In a statement made shortly after her passing, New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison referred to the officer’s death as “a tragic loss for her family, friends, and fellow officers and the entire community”. He went on to say that the 11 year veteran officer was “a dedicated public servant who loved her family, her job and serving her city”, and that her sacrifice in the line of duty will never be forgotten.
This is not the first fatality involving an intoxicated driver striking an on duty police officer in the city of New Orleans in recent years. The accident is also a firm reminder of why it is so important for drivers to give emergency vehicles, include police vehicles, an extra lane for safety clearance.
As experienced personal injury attorneys, we have seen the devastating effects of tragic accidents like this one too many times. If you or your family have been the victims of a drunk driving accident and would like to seek counsel regarding your legal options, an accident lawyer from Simien & Simien can offer an evaluation of your case, free of charge.