Suspected drunk driver plows into New Orleans parade crowd, 28 injured

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) —  A pickup truck driven by a suspected drunk driver plowed into a crowd of spectators at a parade in New Orleans Saturday night, injuring at least 28 people, police said.

Of those 28 parade-goers, 21 were transported by ambulance to seven area hospitals, including University Medical Center, Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Lakeside, Touro Hospital, East Jefferson General Hospital, Ochsner Main Hospital, and Ochsner Baptist Hospital. Seven people declined treatment.

The victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4-years-old to adults in their 30s and 40s, the city’s emergency services director, Dr. Jeff Elder, told The Associated Press

Among the injured was a police officer, the police chief said.

“One police officer was struck by a vehicle,” Harrison said. “The mayor and I have gone to one hospital, we did manage to speak with her, she was in good spirits but is injured.”

New Orleans Police Department Chief Michael Harrison said one person is in custody and he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. He said police do not not suspect terrorism.

“We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated,” Harrison said. “He is in custody. He is being investigated right now and is at our DWI office.”

 The crash occurred around 6:42 p.m. during one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras in the Mid-City neighborhood at the intersection of Orleans and Carrollton Avenue, where people were watching the Krewe of Endymion parade.

“A Chevrolet pick up truck was seen traveling eastbound on Carrollton Avenue when he struck two vehicles,” police said in a statement. “The driver then caused one of the vehicles to strike a third vehicle. He then lost control driving over the neutral ground, striking a city dump truck and hitting multiple pedestrians … The drunk driver of the vehicle was quickly apprehended on scene.”

New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims injured by a drunk driver on the parade route today.”

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