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ATV hit-and-run death sparks City Council discussion

ATV that hit Daphne Cola (Source: NOPD) ATV that hit Daphne Cola (Source: NOPD)

New Orleans City Councilman Jared Brossett said the recent ATV hit-and-run crash that killed a mother of two brought a topic to the forefront that people have complained about for years.

"I've received complaints about the ATVs, and from what I can remember as a staffer some years ago, I remember they've been on the books as illegal," he said.

ATVs are off-road vehicles, and the NOPD points out that it's illegal and extremely dangerous for anyone to drive them on city streets.

Video from YouTube shows several four-wheelers weaving in and out of traffic throughout New Orleans, even traveling the wrong way on a busy street.

"I want to have this discussion and have a public discussion at the council meeting," Brossett said.

Brossett said the NOPD's Traffic Division will be on hand at Thursday's meeting to discuss the issue.

"They should not be on the street at all," said Tiffany Cola.

Cola wants police to crackdown on the use of ATVs on the streets of New Orleans. It was Cola's sister, Daphne, who was run over by an ATV just outside of the Mother-in-Law Lounge on North Claiborne in late June.

"It happened so fast," Cola said. "It was like, as soon as she went out the door."

Cola said she ran outside to find Daphne underneath a parked car.

"He hit her so hard. He broke her shins and broke her bones here, and then knocked her under the car," Cola said.

The man driving the ATV walked around the scene, looked at her sister and then took off on foot. Daphne was rushed the hospital with broken legs and severe head trauma. She spent nine days in a coma before she died.

"It's a life that did not need to be lost, and we have to do everything in our power to protect the public," Brossett said.

Brossett is hoping the council can step in to strengthen city ordinances to help the NOPD enforce the laws already in place.

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