The driver of a black pickup was killed Wednesday morning after the vehicle crashed through the wall of the Poydras Center parking garage and plummeted at least five stories to the ground, leaving a pile of shattered glass and steel.
Painter Paul Dolce said he was waterproofing a wall across the street when he heard glass shattering and turned his head. He watched in horror as the truck fell to the ground from the garage’s fifth or sixth floor about 6:45 a.m.
The truck barely missed pedestrians and cars waiting for a red light, Dolce said, landing upside down.
Dolce and construction workers tried to free the man, but he was trapped.
A video Dolce shot as he rushed across Poydras Street shows screaming bystanders and a group of men attempting to pull the man out of the vehicle.
“There was no way we could get him out of the car,” Dolce said.
The unidentified victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
One woman, who declined to give her name, said she parks in the garage and has sometimes worried about pushing through a short metal barrier if she accidentally shifted into the wrong gear. “You always think it’s one of those irrational fears,” she said.
As tourists and office workers looked on from behind tape blocking off the block of Poydras Street between Camp Street and Lafayette Square, officers measured the distance from the fifth or sixth floor of the garage to the ground.
About 8:45 a.m., firefighters arrived with heavy cutting equipment and began removing the man’s body. By 9:20, the car was loaded onto a tow truck and crime scene tape was being knocked down.
Workers with brooms quickly swept up debris left on the ground.