February 28 marks the beginning of Mardi Gras, a famous celebration in several southern states. However, the 2017 Mardi Gras festival began with a tragic start, as a vehicle plowed into parade attendees, leaving eleven injured, three critically.
According to local news station WKRG, The parade in Gulf Shores, Alabama was about to begin, when the vehicle crashed into the local teenage band.
“A teenage band has just started to march down the parade route when they were struck from behind. The vehicle was a part of the parade,” says Grant Brown, a spokesperson for the city of Gulf Shores.
The vehicle was a part of the Gulf Shores Parade and was behind the band in the parade route. Sources tell News Five that the driver was an elderly man.
Portions of Highway 59 and surrounding roads are closed at this time. First responders are being escorted up and down Highway 59 to transport victims from the crash.
City officials are on the scene of the crash. The scene in Gulf Shores has turned from carnival revelry to an emergency response.
The parade has been officially canceled due to the crash, and the route has also been closed. A press conference will be held at 11:45 CST to discuss the details the situation.
As of now, it is unknown why the driver plowed into the crowd.