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ATV, dirt bike involved in fatal crash on Chef Highway were stolen: NOPD

The all-terrain vehicle and a dirt bike involved a four-vehicle crash Monday night (June 12) on Chef Menteur Highway that left one dead, another in critical condition and three more injured were stolen, New Orleans police said Tuesday.

Police responded to the crash about 8:20 p.m., finding “parts of ATVs and street dirt bikes all over the roadway,” said Lt. Anthony Micheu, who leads NOPD’s traffic fatality unit. The crash involved two dirt bikes, an ATV and a car.

Micheu said Tuesday investigators learned one of the two dirt bikes and the ATV involved in the crash were previously reported stolen.

The crash occurred when an ATV and a dirt bike traveling west in the same, middle lane of traffic on Chef Menteur Highway T-boned a gray Pontiac Grand Prix, “sending (the car) spinning,” and killing the ATV driver. Micheu said the ATV and dirt bikes did not have headlights activated, and none of riders on the ATV or dirt bikes wore protective gear.

The driver of the dirt bike that hit the Pontiac was taken to a hospital Monday night in critical condition. That person remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, Micheu said at a 2 p.m. press conference.

The driver and passenger of the Pontiac received minor-to-moderate injuries, Micheu said. The driver of the Pontiac driver will not face any charges, he said. The occupants of the Pontiac, who were hit as the car turned from Majestic Oaks Drive onto Chef Menteur, never saw the unlit ATV or dirt bikes coming, the lieutenant added.The driver of the second dirt bike was able to avoid colliding with the Pontiac, Micheu said, after the driver saw the crash occur and slid-out to stop the bike. The maneuver resulted in minor injures to that driver, he said.

t is illegal to drive ATVs or dirt bikes on city roadways, Micheu said.

The lieutenant said the drivers of the ATV and dirt bikes behaved, “completely careless,” saying speed and careless operation of those vehicles were factors in the crash.

The riders “didn’t just injure themselves or kill themselves,” Micheu said, “They injured other people.”

Adrenaline, YouTube videos and other social media platforms that give ATV and dirt bike riders “10-minutes of fame,” often play a factor in illegal operation of ATVs and dirt bikes on city streets, Micheu said, though he did not expressly say that was the case in Monday night’s crash.

“No mother should have to go through what they have to go through and bury her son or daughter,” Micheu said.

Perhaps after hearing about the “tragic” crash, he added, residents with family members who ride ATVs or dirt bikes in the city will instruct their loved ones to “get off the things, get rid of it, sell it, send it to the country where it belongs.”

No charges have yet been filed in the case, Micheu said, noting the investigation is ongoing.

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