NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans police officer suffered a massive brain injury after being struck by a drunk driver early Sunday morning, the city's police chief said.
Multiple news outlets reported that Superintendent Michael Harrison said the officer was inside her police vehicle on the side of the road with the emergency lights on when she was hit.
"This hurts," Harrison said during a news conference Sunday. He identified the officer as Natasha Hunter, a 12-year veteran of the police force.
Hunter was taken to the hospital where she remains in critical condition in an unresponsive state.
The police chief said Hunter was at the scene to help divert traffic after a multivehicle accident when she was hit. He said the driver, who was not identified, admitted to police he'd been drinking and will be arrested after being released from the hospital.
In a statement Sunday, the police said the accident happened on Interstate 10 at the Esplanade St. exit.
It was a dangerous weekend for law enforcement officials around the state.
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.
The state police said in a statement that the trooper was slowing down when he was struck from behind by a truck. The driver of the truck was found to be over the blood alcohol limit and was arrested, the police said. The trooper received minor injuries and was taken to an area hospital.