A suspect is in custody after 28 people were injured on Saturday when a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans, police said.
Police chief Michael Harrison said the suspect is being investigated for driving while intoxicated.
Harrison was asked twice by the media if terrorism was suspected. While he did not say “no,” he did say it looks like a case of driving while intoxicated.
“We suspect that the subject was highly intoxicated,” he said.
Twenty-one people were hospitalized after the crash with five people in a guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized, city Emergency Services Director Jeff Elder said.
The victims range in age from as young as three or four-years-old to adults in their 30s and 40s, Elder said.
Among the injured was one New Orleans police officer.
Harrison said that the officer was undergoing tests to determine the extent of her injuries.
The accident came during one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras when thousands of people throng the streets watch the elaborate floats and clamor to catch beads and trinkets tossed from riders.
As police and city officials were assessing the accident scene, people were streaming home as plastic bags that used to hold trinkets and discarded beads littered the ground.
Twenty-year-old Kourtney McKinnis told the Advocate that the driver of the truck seemed almost unaware of what he had just done.
“He was just kind of out of it,” she said.
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