(Credt: Scott Shamburger)
GULF SHORES, Ala. - A vehicle accidentally plowed into a Gulf Shores Mardi Gras parade Tuesday, injuring a dozen high school band members marching in the parade.
Four of the 12 band members hit are in critical condition, said Gulf Shores city spokesman Grant Brown during an 11:45 a.m. news conference. All of the injured children, ages 12 to 17, have been transported to local hospitals.
Brown says there is no indication the crash was anything other than what he calls a "horrific accident." The young musicians included six middle school students and six high school students, FOX10 News reports.
A city official said there's no indication that the 73-year-old driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The driver is being interviewed by police and is voluntarily undergoing testing.
At a 3 p.m. press conference, officials said it's still unclear whether charges will be filed against the driver.
The crash occurred just as the parade was beginning around 10 a.m., FOX 10 News reports. Witnesses told FOX10 News a white van with MOAA on its sides "mowed over" several band members.
Video posted to the Gulf Shores Fire Rescue Facebook page shows the band performing in the street minutes before the parade was to start.
U.S. Highway 59 in the immediate area was shut down while the injured receive emergency medical attention.
The city of Gulf Shores has canceled the Mardi Gras parade, which has been in existence for 39 years.
The band members who were struck are members of the Gulf Shores High School Band.
The investigation is ongoing, officials said.
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