Anthony Harding didn’t see the car crash in the 2000 block of St. Thomas Street on Tuesday, only its dramatic aftermath.
“I saw this car upside down,” Harding said. “I saw the driver halfway in and out of the car through the sunroof, and he was face down with the car on his back.”
The victim had been shot multiple times before the crash but was conscious, Harding said.
“His face was all bloodied,” said Harding, who works on Felicity Street at a business incubator for veterans called LZ Nola. “He kept saying, ‘The car is on my back. I need to get up.’ The EMT was administering fluids trying to get a pulse on him.”
Both the driver and a passenger were transported to the hospital and are in stable condition, according to NOPD spokesman Officer Garry Flot.
At 2:20 p.m., moments before the crash, a mechanic, who identified himself only as Mr. Williams, heard the crackle of gunfire coming from a spot just upriver on St. Thomas Street. He had just returned from the doctor and was sitting in his car outside his home on Felicity Street when a slate-colored four-door Infiniti G-37s came flying down St. Thomas Street, he said.
The car struck a moped, then a fire hydrant, which sent it flying through the air. It then hit a Mercedes SUV and a school bus before landing upside-down on a fence at St. Thomas and Felicity, Flot said.
“It looked like it was in a movie,” Williams said.
Flot said no children were on the bus and its driver was not injured.
Adding to the bizarre theatrics of the moment, Williams saw currency falling out of the car.
“Money was flying everywhere,” he said. “It was flying up the street.”
At the corner of St. Thomas and Adele streets, about two blocks from the car crash scene, police marked off shell casings in the middle of the street where the initial shooting apparently occurred.
The owner of the Mercedes SUV, Robert Armbruster, owns the building and lot where the car crashed. He also runs LZ Nola, which he said opened its doors last week. Thankfully, he said, none of his employees was injured, and all he’ll need to replace is the black metal fence around the parking lot.