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Truck Plows Into Mardi Gras Crowd During Parade

A suspected drunk driver in New Orleans, Louisiana, ran into a crowd at a Mardi Gras parade, injuring at least 28 people.

The accident took place around 6:42 p.m. Feb. 25 during the Krewe of Endymion parade, with victims ranging in age from 3 or 4 years to adults in their 30s and 40s, New Orleans Emergency Services Director Jeff Elder said, according to ABC News. Twenty-one of the parade-goers were transported by ambulance to seven area hospitals, with five suffering serious injuries. One victim is a female police officer, who was struck by a vehicle.

"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."

A witness recalled what happened to CNN affiliate WDSU.

"I saw the gray truck flying down Carrollton Avenue," the female witness said. "He sped up and he lost control and you could see (the truck) was getting ready to turn and I knew he was going to run into all those people."

Terrorism is not suspected in the case. 

"We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated," New Orleans Police Department Chief Michael Harrison said. "He is in custody. He is being investigated right now and is at our DWI office."

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu responded to the accident via Twitter.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims injured by a drunk driver on the parade route today," he wrote.

In follow-up tweets, Landrieu thanked first responders for "the care [they] provided to the victims and others watching the parade" and said "we are grateful that no one suffered any life threatening injuries."

Some of the bystanders that came to the aid of the victims were emergency responders that were tourists in town for Mardi Gras, Harrison said, according to CNN.

The Krewe of Endymion is reportedly the largest Mardi Gras parade and attracts people of all ages, including families with children. It has 81 floats, 3,200 riders, and a budget of $7 million.

Sources: ABC News, CNN, Mitch Landrieu/Twitter (2) (3) / Photo credit: Mitch Landrieu/Twitter

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