Woman struck and killed by Mardi Gras float during parade

The Associated Press
February 20, 2020 - 7:44 am

Emergency personnel work at the scene after a person was run over and killed by a float during The Mystic Krewe of Nyx Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans is mourning the death of a woman who was run over by a parade float as the city celebrates Mardi Gras.

The woman apparently tried to cross between two sections of a tandem float when she tripped over a hitch connecting the vehicles and was run over, witnesses told news outlets.

It happened Wednesday night during the parade of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx, an all-female Carnival group that was “established to unite women of diverse backgrounds for fun, friendship, and the merriment of the Mardi Gras season,” according to its website.

“On such a joyous night, this is obviously a tragic occurrence,” Nyx Captain Julie Lea said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Krewe of Nyx, along with the city of New Orleans, we offer our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the individual involved.”

The accident involved float 21, New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said at a news conference. The woman's identity wasn't immediately released.

The parade was ended early, and the rest of the floats were diverted off the parade route. That was the “proper thing to do,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell told reporters near the scene.

Mardi Gras is Feb. 25, but the Fat Tuesday celebration is preceded by a week or more of parades and parties each year.

The death comes one year after a car sped into a bicycle lane near a parade route, hitting nine people and killing two bicyclists. Sharree Walls, 27, of New Orleans and David Hynes, 31, of Seattle, died not far from where the Krewe of Endymion parade had just passed. A man identified as the driver — Tashonty Toney, 32 — was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide.

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