A man charged in a drunk driving wreck that killed New Orleans Police Officer Natasha Hunter in 2016 pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide Tuesday (May 29), and will face up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year.
Chau Nguyen, 35, who had been out of jail since posting bond four months after the wreck, was remanded to the sheriff’s office following his plea, according to court records.
Authorities said on June 5, 2016, Nguyen’s four-door Acura sedan hit the back of Hunter’s marked patrol car that was parked on the shoulder of Interstate 10 near the Esplanade Avenue exit. She was investigating a crash when her car was hit around 2:30 a.m., and her vehicle’s emergency lights were flashing.
Hunter suffered traumatic head injuries in the crash, and died two days later.
Nguyen, who was in pharmacy school at the time of the wreck, also was injured in the crash. Prosecutors said he failed field sobriety tests and admitted to drinking alcohol at a casino prior to driving.
His blood-alcohol concentration measured at 0.16 after the crash, according to the district attorney’s office.
Hunter, 32, joined the New Orleans Police Department in December 2004. She was the mother of a 5-year-old girl.