Neilson Rizzuto, 25, was the driver of a Chevrolet pickup that hit two vehicles on South Carrollton Avenue around 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, then careened into the neutral ground at Orleans Avenue and crashed into a dump truck, according to NOPD reports. Along the way, Rizzuto’s truck struck at least 28 people, sending 21 to area hospitals and five of those to trauma centers, the NOPD report state.
“Ages ranged from 1 year old to patients in their 50s,” the report states. “At least 3 remained hospitalized overnight with moderate to serious injuries. There were no fatalities.”
Rizzuto was arrested on scene and failed a field sobriety test, and a blood test showed alcohol levels of 0.232, nearly triple the legal limit of .08, the reports state. He was charged with two counts of first-degree negligent vehicular injuring, one count of hit-and-run with serious injury and one count of reckless operation, the reports state.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We are grateful that none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening. I want to thank all of our emergency personnel for responding quickly, aiding the injured, and apprehending the drunk driver.”