21 hospitalized after suspected drunk driver plows vehicle into crowd in New Orleans

Posted at 8:40 PM, Feb 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-25 22:24:21-05

NEW ORLEANS — Twenty-one people, including a police officer, were hospitalized when a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of people watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans Saturday evening.

The pickup truck went into the crowd of people at the intersection of Carrollton and Orleans in Mid-City about 6:45 p.m., New Orleans Police Department said.

The truck was traveling in the opposite direction of the parade route, New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said. He struck two vehicles before careening into a crowd and hitting a dumpster truck.

Twenty-one people were taken to 10 hospitals, Jeff Elder, the director of New Orleans medical services said in a news conference. The youngest person injured was 3 years old.

Twelve people are in critical condition.

Seven people were also injured, but did not get transported to the hospital and were treated at the scene.

One police officer was struck by the vehicle. She was taken to the hospital and her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, Harrison said.

It took about 30 to 40 minutes for officials to clear the scene.

Police believe the driver was intoxicated at the time. They do not suspect terrorism as a motive.

The man is in police custody. No charges have been filed yet.

Harrison urged people to not drink and drive. The city is hosting pre-Mardi Gras celebrations, which starts on Monday.