Tragedy has struck what was supposed to be a good time on a Saturday night in New Orleans at one of the biggest Mardi Gras parades every single year. The New Orleans Police Department is currently investigating a crash at the Endymion parade which saw a vehicle plow through a crowd of parade-goers, and at least a dozen people are in critical condition.
UPDATE at 11:04 p.m. EST
WWL is reporting that 28 people in total were injured and that includes seven which declined medical attention. The ages of the injured range from three to 40, and there was one police officer injured by the 21-year-old man who was driving the truck. Police suspect he was intoxicated.
UPDATE at 10:22 p.m. EST
Man arrested at the scene where truck crashed into Endymion parade crowd, injuring 21. What we know so far: https://t.co/7oEliMvyUh pic.twitter.com/yFz4etoT0QUPDATE at 9:17 p.m. EST - The number of injured has now gone up to 21.
— New Orleans Advocate (@theadvocateno) February 26, 2017
One officer struck, 21 people injured (several in critical condition) after car crashed into people during Endymion parade in Mid-City@wdsu pic.twitter.com/yTC9nP6l3i---Begin original article
— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) February 26, 2017
WWL is reporting that initial reports have about a dozen people in critical condition even though there are some others who sustained injuries. It is believed that the number will continue to rise as the investigation continues.
At least 4 loaded into ambulances by Endymion parade at Carrollton and Orleans after car hits people. @WWLTV pic.twitter.com/9fhdNH9PT6Fox 8 Live is reporting that the accident happened around 6:45 p.m. at the corner of Orleans and N. Carrollton Avenue on the parade route for Endymion. All that is known as of this writing is that a driver plowed through a crowd of people who were waiting for the popular Mardi Gras parade to roll.
— David Hammer (@davidhammerWWL) February 26, 2017
First photos from scene where car hit crowd along #Endymion parade route. Police say, so far, a dozen critical. pic.twitter.com/9PmomqFLzzThis accident wasn't the only bad thing to happen at Mardi Gras parades on Saturday as an Alonzo Gonzales was also shot while watching the Krewe of Tucks. NOLA is reporting that the man was watching the parade with his family when he turned to the side and saw blood pouring from a hole in the side of his body.
— WWL-TV (@WWLTV) February 26, 2017
Gonzales immediately fell to the ground and everyone started running away from him. The parade was stopped for about 15 minutes as police began investigating the incident and they are still looking to see what exactly happened.
According to The Advocate, the shot came from someone who was handling a gun inside of a portalet and it fired a shot through the wall. The bullet ended up hitting Gonzales after the shooter "mishandled the weapon," according to NOPD.
After that, everyone may have thought the worst was behind them for the rest of this Mardi Gras season, but then, Endymion was set to roll.
Aftermath photos of Endymion accident taken from twenty feet away from where the car crashed of front of us. Scary @NOLAnews @WWLTV pic.twitter.com/Fh25YuLMwHWBRZ is reporting that at least one person has been arrested, but their identity has not yet been revealed. There is also no word on any charges being filed or what may have led to that person plowing their vehicle through the parade crowd.
— Jason Camelford (@CanadianNolaJay) February 26, 2017
Looking at posts from Endymion parade-goers on social media, more and more information is coming forward.
This car was hit by a black truck, spun out of control and hit a trailer..#Endymion pic.twitter.com/J2gm2VjqRmNone of the victims have officially had their identities revealed as of yet either as police are still conducting their investigation. Multiple emergency vehicles and ambulances were on the scene to take as many of the critically injured as possible to medical facilities and hospitals in the New Orleans area.
— chill (@chiIIum) February 26, 2017
Every single year, thousands upon thousands of people from New Orleans and states around the country head into Louisiana for Mardi Gras. This year was no different as everyone headed into town for the parades and Endymion is always one of the best of the entire season. Unfortunately, this night led to tragedy after a car plowed through a crowd of people, leaving a dozen in critical condition, and there is still a long way to go in this investigation.
[Featured Image by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]