Nurse fighting for her life after ‘violent’ hit-and-run crash, search for driver continues

Katherine Elkins, a nurse at Touro Infirmary, has been left with life-threatening injuries from a hit-and-run crash. (Source: WVUE)
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE/Gray News) - A nurse in New Orleans has been left with critical injuries after being hit by a car in a hit-and-run crash.

WVUE reports Katherine Elkins, a nurse at Touro Infirmary, was hit while she was leaving the Jazz Fest on her bicycle over the weekend.

“Life as she knows it is going to be forever different,” said Elkins’ attorney Charlie Thomas. “She’s not going to return to any sense of normalcy for a very long time. "

According to the New Orleans Police Department, the crash occurred last Saturday at an intersection just outside of the French Quarter around 9:15 p.m. Elkins’ friends said she was riding her bike away from the festival when a car slammed into her without slowing down or stopping.

Surveillance video from a nearby business reportedly shows a white car speeding through the intersection, launching Elkins’ bike in the air.

“This is a violent crime. You’ve got somebody whose life is completely upended. She’s going to be in the hospital for who knows how long,” Thomas said. “Her life is forever changed. If we’re not holding people accountable, then it’s going to be open season on anybody else.”

Elkins’ friends said she has suffered a brain bleed, multiple broken ribs and an ankle fracture so severe that she is in danger of losing her foot.

Fortunately, an ambulance was stationed nearby that evening and medics were able to rush Elkins to the hospital where she remains in critical condition.

“She’s doing better than she was earlier in the week, before she was intubated and not really in consciousness. So, she’s becoming more lucid,” Thomas said.

Bike safety activist David Meza said bikers have just as much of a right to be in the main lanes of traffic as cars.

“Intersections are always the most dangerous part ... most susceptible for conflict,” Meza said. “They’ve just become a lot more unpredictable than they ever have been.”

Elkins’ loved ones have set up a GoFundMe account to help with her medical bills and are also working on a reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver who hit her.

“This happened after Jazz Fest. People have come to this city, people are enjoying themselves, they’re spending money,” Thomas said. “This is a bad look for the city. Just zoom out from the personal tragedy with Katherine. This is a bad look for the city if we just let this happen and we’re not catching this person.”

New Orleans police said the crash remains an open investigation.