- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A New Orleans police officer injured in a weekend traffic collision succumbed to her injuries Tuesday and died.

The department in a news release said a public prayer vigil for 11-year veteran officer Natasha Hunter will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the department headquarters.

“This is a tragic loss for her family, friends, fellow officers and our entire community,” said police Superintendent Michael Harrison. “Officer Hunter was a dedicated public servant who loved her family, her job and serving her city. We will never forget the sacrifice she made and the hearts and prayers of our entire department are with her family today and always.”

Hunter, 32, suffered a massive brain injury after being struck by a drunken driver early Sunday morning in a collision on Interstate 10 East. Harrison has said she was inside her police vehicle on the side of the road with the emergency lights on when she was hit in the rear. The crash happened around 2:30 a.m.

The police chief said Hunter was at the scene to help divert traffic after a multi-vehicle accident when she was hit.

He said the driver, Chau Thai Nguyen, 33, admitted to police he’d been drinking. Police obtained an arrest warrant for Nguyen for charges of first-degree vehicular negligent injuring and reckless operation of a vehicle.

Later Tuesday, Nguyen was arrested on charges of vehicular homicide and reckless operation of a vehicle. It was unknown if Nguyen had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Hunter is survived by a 5-year-old daughter.

It was a dangerous weekend for law enforcement officials statewide.

On Saturday, a Winnsboro Parish police officer was killed during an early morning traffic accident while responding to a call. Along another stretch of Interstate 10, in St. Charles Parish west of New Orleans, a Louisiana State Police trooper was injured Sunday as he was responding to an accident.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide