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Jefferson Parish crew destroys shelter under bridge, cuts sleeping woman's face

4 months 1 day 1 hour ago Sunday, January 16 2022 Jan 16, 2022 January 16, 2022 9:31 PM January 16, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

MARRERO - Two people were sleeping inside a makeshift shelter under the Westbank Expressway when heavy machinery destroyed the encampment Friday morning, leaving a woman with a deep gash in her face.

WWL-TV reported Jacob Watson and Ayla Toups were asleep in the shelter made of three wooden pallets covered with a tarp when a Bobcat from the Jefferson Parish Parkways Department tore down the structure.

Toups' mother, Tia Marie-Chapman, told WWL-TV her daughter had to endure a six-hour-long surgery on her face.

“She had a laceration from the fork of the Bobcat that split her from her lip up to her cheek,” Marie-Chapman told reporters.

A Jefferson Parish spokesperson released a statement about the situation:

We were informed that the Jefferson Parish Parkways Department responded to a complaint about a homeless encampment underneath the elevated Westbank Expressway on Friday morning and a homeless woman was accidentally struck during the removal of the camp. JPSO arrived on the scene to take a report and our Parkways employees were pretty shaken up by the incident. First responders were called and she was taken to the hospital. An internal investigation is taking place to determine exactly what happened.

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