GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) – Authorities say an elderly driver slammed into a marching band during a Mardi Gras parade on the Alabama coast, critically injuring four young people and leaving eight with less-severe injuries.
Officials with the city of Gulf Shores told a news conference they don’t believe the crash Tuesday morning was anything other than an accident.
City spokesman Grant Brown says the band from Gulf Shores High School had just entered the parade route for Fat Tuesday when a vehicle behind the group lurched forward into the group.
Brown says the vehicle struck multiple people, injuring 12 in all. He says the victims ranged in age from 12 to 17.
Authorities identified the driver only as a 73-year-old man from nearby Fairhope. Police say they’re looking into reports that the man was driving a large sport-utility vehicle with a banner on the side.
Details on the most severe injuries weren’t immediately available. The parade was canceled after the crash.
Video and photos from the scene show emergency workers helping the injured on the main highway running toward the beach.