iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An SUV veered into a crowd of people at a Mardi Gras Day parade on the Gulf Coast of Alabama Tuesday morning, just days after a similar incident occurred in New Orleans.
At least 12 people were injured in the accident, and four of them are in critical condition, according to police.
The driver was a 73-year-old man, police said.
Witnesses told ABC affiliate WPMI-TV in Alabama that his foot slipped off the brake pedal and onto the gas, causing the car to plow into the back of the Gulf Shores High School marching band.
The Gulf Shores Police Department held a press conference on the incident:
“At 10 a.m. this morning a local Gulf Shores youth band in a Mardi Gras parade was entering highway 59 when a vehicle behind them lurched forward and injured 11 members of the band,” spokesperson for the Gulf Shores Police Department, Grant Brown, told reporters.
“Three of the band members are critically injured,” Brown continued. “The vehicle behind the band was part of the parade and it is unknown at this time why the vehicle lurched forward. All 11 children were transported to a local hospital. The children are ‘young teenagers.'”
Unlike the incident in New Orleans, where the driver was intoxicated, police said that they have no indication that the driver had taken drugs or alcohol prior to the accident and do not believe this was an intentional act.
The driver is being interviewed and drug tested on his own volition, police said.
Of the injured, nine were transported to South Baldwin Medical Center in Foley, Alabama, two were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida and one more was taken to Baptist Hospital, also in Pensacola.
The City of Gulf Shores said they are closing Highway 59 indefinitely, until the police clear the scene. They are requesting that any witnesses or people with photos come forward.
The FBI said they are investigating the incident.
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