A 23-year-old woman sunbathing on a beach in Grand Isle on Thursday afternoon was airlifted to a New Orleans hospital after a local police officer ran over her with a patrol truck.
The woman sustained moderate injuries, and the officer has been placed on administrative leave while authorities await the results of drug and alcohol tests to which he submitted as part of protocol, officials said.
Neither the woman nor the policeman have been identified.
According to Louisiana State Police spokesman Nick Manale, the Grand Isle officer was patrolling the beach near Cranberry Lane in a fully marked Ford F-250 about 3 p.m. The officer passed once without incident, but on the second pass he drove into a woman, said Manale, whose agency is leading the investigation into the incident.
Another woman who was accompanying the crash victim managed to jump out of the vehicle’s way and avoid being hurt.
First responders airlifted the woman from the western end of Grand Isle to University Medical Center in New Orleans, Manale said.
Grand Isle Police Chief Euris DuBois on Thursday said the woman was “in stable condition and ... talking.”
The officer involved also went to a hospital for the toxicology testing, Grand Isle police investigator Kenneth Lewis said.
Lewis said the Grand Isle cops turned over the investigation to State Police because the beach is state property.
Manale added that the investigation is ongoing, therefore no decisions on a citation or arrest have been made.
This is not the first unflattering news headline that those in charge of protecting Grand Isle’s residents and visitors have drawn within the past month.
The Police Department was raided in March by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, which alleged the island town’s cops were careless in safeguarding evidence and had interfered with deputies’ undercover narcotics investigations.
Further, a Jefferson Parish Inspector General’s report recently found that the island’s volunteer fire company had spent a significant chunk of its public funding on things that had no valid purpose and were possibly illegal at times.