Fatal crash leads to free-ride program

An early morning fatal crash in Slidell on Friday has led Slidell police to offer free rides home to inebriated residents for the remainder of the holiday season.

Police Chief Randy Smith announced the program Friday after police investigated a fatal crash at the intersection of U.S. 11 and Fremaux Avenue. The incident was reported around 2 a.m., and left Ronnie Holmes, 42, of Slidell, dead.

Police say Holmes was driving a green Chevrolet Blazer on U.S. 11 when he ran a red light and crashed into a truck making a left turn onto the road. Police say Holmes ran a red light and didn’t have his lights on when the crash occurred. They also believe he was intoxicated and was not wearing a seat belt, according to a news release.

The other driver received minor injuries in the crash.

In the news release, Smith said the accident led him to create the new program. Police officers will provide rides starting Friday and continuing until New Year’s Day. The service is available only to Slidell residents, although police will work to try to find other drivers a way home.

Smith said that given the extra step taken by police, they will have little patience for anyone caught driving while intoxicated.

“This option is much better than someone getting behind the wheel of a car and either killing themselves or someone else,” Smith said in the release. “We are giving everyone an opportunity to get home safely. There is no excuse to be on the roadway impaired, especially if we are offering everyone a safe ride home.”

Anyone interested in receiving a ride can contact police at (985) 643-3131.