The driver of a Pickup Truck is in custody after first hitting two cars, and then plowing into the crowd at the new orleans Mardi Gras parade. According to officials, at least 28 people were injured, five of them seriously. Police say the suspect appeared to be “highly intoxicated.” Reportedly none of the injuries are life-threatening, but a total of 21 people have been hospitalized. Seven others were hurt, but declined medical attention. According to Police Chief Michael Harrison, the oldest people affected were in their 40s, and the youngest is 3 years of age.

Victims also included a female New Orleans police officer, who was on duty at the parade. According to Harrison, the officer was currently undergoing tests and was in “good spirits.” According to police, there is no indication that this was a terrorist act.

Endymion Parade in New Orleans

CNN reports that the incident occurred during the Endymion parade, one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras, with thousands thronging the streets of Mid-City to watch the flats pass by. This parade is one of the most popular and family-oriented of the Mardi Gras celebrations with many parents bringing their children to watch. Reportedly hundreds of people ride on the floats in the parade, constantly throwing beads and necklaces into the excited crowd.

The accident occurred at around 6:42 p.m. local time as the parade was heading down Orleans Avenue and before turning right onto Carrollton.

As reported by The New Orleans Advocate, Carrie Kinsella, a woman at the scene, told them a silver-colored truck rushed by her, only feet away from where she was walking. Kinsella said she felt a rush as the truck was traveling so fast.

Kourtney McKinnis, 20, told the newspaper that the driver looked “kind of out of it,” and seemed to be unaware of what he had done. Reportedly most onlookers were in shock, rushing around to find their loved ones.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras is an annual celebration in New Orleans and includes parades, parties and plenty of food in the lead up to the Christian Lent fasting season which starts on Ash Wednesday, the last day of the Carnival season in the city.

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