SUV Hits Marching Band at Ala. Mardi Gras Parade, 12 Hurt

A dozen members of a marching band were injured Tuesday after an SUV "accelerated and struck them" at the start of a Mardi Gras parade in Gulf Shores, Alabama, a city spokesman said. 

Four of the injured are in critical condition at local hospitals, Gulf Shores spokesman Grant Brown said in a news conference. 

The 73-year-old driver is being interviewed by police, who do not believe the act was intentional. There was no indication he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Brown said. The man is undergoing testing. 

Members of the Gulf Shores High School Band who were struck "are our children," said Brown, who noted that the parade has been a fixture in the community for 39 years.

"This is our community. These are our friends," he said. "And to have this happen — it's horrible." 

The Gulf Shores Police Department said the parade was canceled.  

The incident comes after 21 people were hospitalized when a car drove into a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans on Saturday night. Police said the suspected drunk driver took a breath test that showed a blood alcohol level nearly triple the legal limit, The Associated Press reported.

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