Tulane Professor Mia Bagneris injured by intoxicated driver

Jonathon Marks, Associate News Editor

Tulane Art History Assistant Professor Mia Bagneris was severely injured in a drunk driving incident in the Bywater area on the night of Oct. 14. Mia Bagneris is the daughter of Michael Bagneris, a New Orleans mayoral candidate who finished third in the Oct. 14 primary. He took to Facebook soon after the accident to issue a statement regarding the incident.

Bagneris was leaving her father’s election night party to return home and was hit by a drunk driver as she exited her vehicle. She suffered life-threatening injuries and has since undergone multiple surgeries. Bagneris’ injuries include “a broken leg, a shattered pelvis, internal bleeding and head injuries,” according to The Advocate.

According to a report issued by the New Orleans Police Department, Christopher Lang, 49, was arrested for driving under the influence and causing a car crash on the same night Mia Bagneris was injured in a drunk driving incident in the Bywater.

The NOPD and the Bagneris campaign have yet to confirm whether these events are related. The police report filed by NOPD officers does not mention the name of the woman Lang hit with his vehicle. Likewise, Michael Bagneris’ statement makes no mention of Lang.

The report states Lang crashed into a parked jeep shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the 1400 block of Clouet Street. The jeep sustained damage to the passenger side.

Lang told investigators he was driving a 1998 Ford Ranger truck when his tire hit a pothole, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. Questioning Lang on the scene, the police could smell alcohol and noticed Lang was under the influence. Though Lang did not fail his sobriety tests outright, he was later brought to the NOPD’s DWI testing facility where he was determined to be intoxicated with his blood alcohol content registering at .09.

Lang was charged with “driving while intoxicated, careless operation of a vehicle and vehicular negligence” and, after being treated at a local hospital, he was entered into the Orleans Justice Center. He then appeared in magistrate court where Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Jonathan Friedman set Lang’s bail for $10,500.

Due to the severity of her injuries, Bagneris will require extensive rehabilitation. A GoFundMe account was established for Bagneris by her church community with a goal of raising $60,000 for her recovery.

According to the fundraiser’s webpage, “she is currently hospitalized with very serious injuries. She has a long road ahead to healing and recovery, which will result in a significant amount of expenses for her and her family.”

The Advocate reported $11,000 had been raised as of Wednesday morning through the GoFundMe. By Friday afternoon, the account showed a balance of $30,100. 

From the statement on Michael Bagneris’ campaign Facebook page: “Her stabilization is the focus of Michael and his family. We ask you to keep them all in your prayers.”

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