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Suspected Drunk Driver Plows Truck Into Mardi Gras Crowd Injuring 28

Skip Bolen/Getty Images
Skip Bolen/Getty Images

In a scene reminiscent of a French terror attack in Nice where a man killed 86 people by plowing his truck into a celebrating crowd, a man in New Orleans is in custody for allegedly driving his vehicle into revelers and injuring dozens on Saturday—five seriously.

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Yet in this case, police are leaning toward DUI, not terrorism.

“We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated,” Police Chief Michael Harrison said Saturday evening.

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The Associated Press reports that thousands lined the streets of Mid-City for the Krewe of Endymion parade on Saturday, when a man driving what has been described as a gray or silver pickup truck drove into the crowd and injured at least 28 people.

Twenty-one people were hospitalized after the crash, with five victims in serious condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized.

City Emergency Services Director Dr. Jeff Elder said that the victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4 to adults in their 30s and 40s. One on-duty New Orleans police officer was also injured, but she is reportedly in “good spirits.”

According to CNN, the Krewe of Endymion holds the city’s largest Mardi Gras parade, with an annual budget of $7 million. It boasts 81 floats and 3,200 riders, and many parents bring children to the family-friendly parade.

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One woman at the scene reportedly told the New Orleans Advocate the driver of the truck seemed almost unaware of what he had just done. “He was just kind of out of it,” Kourtney McKinnis, 21, said.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu weighed in on Twitter and thanked first responders for helping those in need.

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Read more at the Associated Press and CNN.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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DISCUSSION

carrietoronto
Carrie Mathison

You always worry that it’s the worst case—terrorism—when it’s in the middle of a crowded event like this, but it’s not unusual to be drunk during Mardi Gras. Does the city do a lot to prevent/discourage this? My local transit is crap but at least it’s free on New Year’s Eve...

(Not saying this guy isn’t 100% responsible for his actions, just that this is a high-risk situation cities still need to be careful around.)