Terror of Mardi Gras


On route to Mobile. https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/6380264539

New Orleans is best known for its eccentric celebration of Mardi Gras (a.k.a. Fat Tuesday), but other states consider this a tradition and take part in it as well. On this day, people will get together with friends and family to eat, parade, and party the day away. However, in Alabama, fun and games were not on the agenda.


With the big Mardi Gras parade in session and the band playing their tunes, a tragedy happened. A man in an SUV accelerated and crashed into the band. Students tried to jump, roll, and run out of the way of the vehicle but twelve of the group were unlucky and were not able to escape the path of the oncoming SUV. The kids were converging onto the highway to begin the parade.


The man behind the wheel seemed to have no intention of creating this accident, but it is unknown why he accelerated. He had voluntarily submitted to blood tests, which have ruled out use of drugs and alcohol. The man is seventy-three years old. According to Alabama News, Larry Rathbun’s–the old man–vehicle is in possession of the police department.


The accident included six middle schoolers and six high schoolers. Three of the students are in critical condition. One female has a bruised pelvic bone and road rash. The hospitalized students show signs of highly possible recovery. Other students that had witness or been affected by the accident are being counseled at their school. “A couple people got rolled under the actual truck, and I saw people roll out from underneath it, and they were like clutching themselves in pain,” Jeremy Koonce said to CNN.


The parade was cancelled. The highway was shut down for a few hours due to investigation of the scene. There is a GoFundMe page set up for the students involved and the county is trying to set up a website to receive donations for them.




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