An impaired driver plowed into a crowd of Endymion parade-goers Saturday, injuring 28 people - including a police officer and a small child, according to New Orleans police. Twenty-one victims were hospitalized, while seven refused treatment.
Four Spring Hill College students were among those injured. The school released a statement saying the president of the college was traveling to New Orleans to be with the students Saturday night.
The crash happened at about 6:45 p.m. at the corner of Orleans and N. Carrollton avenues. Police said a truck was speeding down N. Carrollton, traveling in the opposite direction of the parade toward City Park, when it hit two vehicles. The impact caused one of those vehicles to strike a third vehicle. The truck driver then lost control and drove over the neutral ground, striking a city dump truck as he plowed into the crowd.
The truck driver was arrested at the scene. NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said the driver was "highly intoxicated."
The FBI issued the following statement late Saturday night:
"The FBI New Orleans Division is aware of the mass casualty incident that happened along the Endymion Mardi Gras parade route this evening in New Orleans. We are currently coordinating with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to determine whether a federal violation has occurred."
Five victims were being treated at trauma centers. The police officer was in good condition and the child was stable, according to NOPD.
The injured were taken to seven hospitals in 10 ambulances.