Published Sunday, March 2, 2008
Pedestrian allegedly killed by hit-and-run driver
Staff Writer


HOUMA -- A 40-year-old illegal immigrant is charged in the alcohol-related hit-and-run death of a pedestrian who was struck by a car and killed alongside La. 182 early Saturday morning, police said.

Victor Velasco Santiesteban was more than one-and-a-half times over the legal limit when he hit and killed 64-year-old Walter Hebert Jr. at about 2 a.m. and left the scene of the crash, State Police said.

Hebert was walking west in front of the New Horizon bar, 713 La. 182, when a west-bound car hit him from behind, State Police said.

A bouncer at the bar told police that Hebert, who was walking on the shoulder about 5 feet from the fog line, was hit by a red, four-door car.

Hebert was taken by Acadian Ambulance to Terrebonne General Medical Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after the collision, authorities said.

Soon afterwards, a Houma Police officer on patrol noticed a red 1993 Dodge Spirit parked in front of a house at 155 1/2 New Orleans Blvd., according to trooper Gilbert Dardar, a spokesman for State Police Troop C.

The car had serious damage, including a smashed windshield. Police arrested Santiesteban after knocking on the door and finding him covered in pieces of broken glass, Dardar said.

Santiesteban registered a blood-alcohol content of .129, more than one-and-a-half times the legal limit of .08, police said.

Though he could not say what country he is from, Dardar said Santiesteban is an illegal Hispanic immigrant with no driver’s license.

Santiesteban is charged with vehicular homicide, a charge that includes drunken driving, felony hit-and-run, no driver’s license, illegal alien operating a motor vehicle, no insurance and improper lane usage. He was taken to the Terrebonne Parish jail. A bond had not been set as of Saturday night.

Hebert is the second pedestrian to be killed by a motorist on local highways this year.

Perry L. Walker Sr., 57, of Cut Off, died Feb. 6 from injuries sustained when was hit by a truck while running across La. 1 near his home. The driver of the truck that hit him was not cited for Walker’s death. ... 013/NEWS01