A woman has been charged with OWI, second offense, after hitting barricades and then pedestrians along the Lafayette parade route right before the Rio Parade tonight.

According to Lafayette Police Spokesman Senior Corporal Matt Benoit, 31-year-old Jessica Richard has been charged with OWI and Two Counts of Vehicular Negligent Injury.

Car Crashes into Barricades 2
Hunter Micah Basco
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The two people that were hit were taken to area hospitals with serious injuries, but officials say they are non-life-threatening injuries.

A woman who gave me information about what she observed at the scene said it was so traumatizing to her and one of her children they left before the parade started. This lady says they saw it all happen, and people laying on the ground. She says the woman rammed into the barricades and then took off, they caught her further down the street.

Car Crashes into Barricades
Hunter Micah Basco Photo
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This happened on West Congress Street, and the police department says Richard crossed the lanes on Congress near Madison and hit the barricades.

The crash happened right at six o'clock this evening.

Another woman who listens to the radio spoke with me via messenger. She said it was a very scary situation. She says she will be holding her baby tighter tonight. She added that the Lafayette Police Department did a great job of handling the situation this evening.

Hunter Micah Basco, his wife, and children were fifteen yards away from where it happened. Here is what he had to say on Facebook:

All ima say is, I’m definitely gonna hold my daughter closer tonight…we were literally 15 yards from what could have changed my life forever….trying to enjoy a parade with my family and friends and this crap happens…someone decided it was a smart idea to drive 60+ mph where a parade is about to roll. Thousands of people near barricades! Lots of questions come to mind but the main one is, why weren’t the roads closed??? This happened 30 minutes before the parade was supposed to start. Lafayette police, why weren’t these roads closed?!? I watched 2 people leave in ambulances because of failure to close roads. And to find out the driver was drunk! Please people find a DD and let’s be smart about how we chose to have fun this weekend!

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