‘It looked like some fast and furious stuff’ — 4-car crash in New Orleans East – Car Accident
NEW ORLEANS — Mason Stewart knows he’s lucky.
“I got hit with a little bit of shrapnel but not that bad,” Stewart said.
Stewart was standing in the median near the intersection of Chef Highway and Downman Road Tuesday, when a crash involving several vehicles could have killed him.
“All I saw was a truck over me and I just hurried up and ran as fast as I could,” Stewart said.
Surveillance video shows it happened. A white truck crosses over Chef Highway when a blue SUV speeds through a red light at the intersection, with police appearing to chase behind.
In a statement to Eyewitness News the NOPD calls it a “possible vehicle pursuit.” The video and Stewart point to an actual vehicle pursuit.
“He must have been going 90 miles an hour or over, coming down the bridge trying to run from the cops,” Stewart said.
The SUV crashes into the truck, causing it to flip, hitting other vehicles in the process.
“It looked like some ‘Fast and the Furious’ kind of stuff the way his truck kind of like came up,” Stewart said.
Moments before, Stewart was standing right where the truck landed.
“If I hadn’t of heard the initial impact and turned around and looked, I’d be underneath that truck right now,” Stewart said. “I don’t even think I’d be alive to be honest with you.”
Police have not released any details about the crash or the apparent chase, which under the department’s consent decree would require approval. Witnesses say the man driving the SUV was put in handcuffs and taken away. Police have not identified him.
“The cops were already on the blue SUV and they had their guns drawn, like get on the ground,” said Stewart.
That surveillance Video shows the driver of the white truck, appearing injured, crawl out through his windshield.
“He was crying, screaming, rolling in agony,” Stewart said.
Police say four people were injured and taken to the hospital but had no information on the extent of their injuries. Stewart says he’s thankful no one was killed and frustrated someone would have such a disregard for others.
“He almost hit an older lady with her grandchildren, a few other people with their kids in their cars,” Stewart said. “He put a lot of people’s lives at stake.”
The NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau is now reviewing to determine whether all officers involved followed proper protocol.