Traffic investigators and a grieving family are seeking answers after a mother of three was struck and killed by a stolen car while riding a motorcycle on Sunday.
Gaidrelle Chamberlain, 35, was hit at the intersection of Chef Menteur Highway and Downman Road in New Orleans East about 9:20 p.m., according to her brother, Kevin Simmons.
NOPD Traffic Cmdr. Buddy Micheu said a silver 2016 Kia Rio traveling eastbound at more than 100 mph struck Chamberlain as she crossed Chef Menteur on a blue Suzuki motorcycle.
Chamberlain landed in a median, and the Rio kept going, striking another car and then coming to rest in front of the post office at 5919 Chef Menteur Highway. The two men inside fled the scene.
The Kia had been reported stolen from Kenner earlier in the week, Micheu said.
Simmons said he hoped the perpetrators would turn themselves in.
“This isn’t about us wanting revenge,” he said. “This is about the children who have been left behind and the impact it had on our family.”
Although Micheu said patrol officers responded to the scene within minutes and traffic investigators arrived not long afterward, family members were frustrated that the police never relayed word of the collision to the news media. The death did not appear in the daily police log of major offenses.
Simmons, 43, said the lack of notification about his sister’s death was “odd.” He turned to Facebook to campaign for more media attention.
Micheu said Chamberlain’s death was not initially reported because she was not pronounced dead at the scene. She was taken to a hospital, where she died several hours later.
“I don’t believe we wasted any time,” Micheu said. “In fact, we went out to the scene of the accident, a fatality case, that we normally don’t until the victim is found to be confirmed (dead) on the scene or at the hospital.”
He said police are gathering DNA evidence from the car and viewing nearby video surveillance in an effort to identify the perpetrators.
Family members worry that valuable time may have been lost in the search for whoever struck and killed Chamberlain, a mother of a girl entering college, another girl in high school and a boy in middle school. She worked at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino for the past 10 years.
“She had just gotten approved for a loan for a house, and she was really trying to do some wonderful things, make sure her children were on the right path,” Simmons said. “Just truly a very tragic death. Her children don’t have their mom, and I don’t have my sister.”
Police asked anyone with information about Chamberlain’s death to call Fatality Investigator Michael Baldassaro at (504) 658-6205 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.