Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Orleans, LA: Woman fleeing boyfriend's beating runs into I-10 traffic, is killed

Lorenzo Hampton was suspicious when he got a phone call from his sister's boyfriend with shocking news. Lucretia Hampton had stopped her vehicle alongside Interstate 10 in Metairie to relieve herself, walked into traffic and was killed by two passing trucks.

"I know my sister," he said Monday. "There's no way she would do that on the side of the road. No way."
Instead, State Police say, Lucretia Hampton, 35, had been driving east on I-10 near Veterans Memorial Boulevard with her boyfriend, George Washington Cummings IV, 39, when she pulled over because he was beating her. The couple got out of the car and continued fighting on the highway.
Fleeing Cummings, Hampton ran along the shoulder and eventually into the highway to flag down a motorist. She was hit by two vehicles and pronounced dead at the scene, said Melissa Matey, spokeswoman for State Police Troop B.
Cummings was booked with manslaughter and second-degree battery. Bond information was not available Monday.
The wreck occurred Sunday about 9:10 p.m., as Hampton and Cummings were returning to Violet from a Father's Day party put on by Cummings' brother. Meanwhile, Rayford Corkern of Gretna was headed home from the Treasure Chest casino in Kenner. He never saw Lucretia Hampton in the roadway.

"All I know is I hit something and I didn't know what I hit," said Corkern, who is retired after 51 years as a firefighter on the West Bank. "Next thing I know is a 'Boom!' and both of my air bags deployed. My truck was filled in smoke and the air bags were in my face.
"I didn't want to make a hard right and hit someone who was trying to pass me. Eventually I was able to get over on the side of the road."
Corkern said he and the second driver whose vehicle struck Hampton were immediately met by deputies. "They give us the Breathalyzer test and all those other kinds of tests and tape recordings," he said. "I told them, 'I guarantee you won't find any alcohol in my system.' I can't handle cough medicine with codeine."
When Corkern walked around his truck, he could see blood on the hood and windshield. "That's when I realized something bad had happened," he said. "I didn't realize what I had hit."

either Corkern nor the other driver, Joseph Causey of Metairie, was arrested. "They will not be charged with any traffic violations," Matey said. "When it comes to any pedestrian in the roadway, the vehicle has the right of way and the pedestrians are prohibited in the state of Louisiana" on interstate highways.
"How the heck do you go off in the middle of traffic to wave somebody down? How do you do that in the middle of the night on the interstate?" Corkern wondered. "The lady had to really have been in fear of her life."
Lorenzo Hampton said his sister and Cummings argued frequently. "He was always picking on the girl. Little things, like if she was late coming home." He said his sister told him that she intended to reunite with her husband, the father of her six children.
On Monday, he said he had 'been in touch with another sister, Thonica in Lafayette, to talk about their five nephews and niece. The boys -- ages 17, 16, 13, 11 and 7 -- likely will stay with Lorenzo Hampton. His sister will take care of the 9-year-old girl.
It's a tremendous responsibility, but families take care of one another, Hampton said. He has two children of his own. "I'm 22, but I'm a minister. I've got a job and I've got a wife, and I will be all right."

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