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Vehicle drives into Mardi Gras crowd; 12 high school band members injured, 4 critically

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ALABAMA — A vehicle part of a Mardi Gras parade careened into a high school marching band, injuring 12 people, including four critically, and prompting the cancelation of the Gulf Shores, Alabama event on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

A vehicle crashed into a marching band at an Alabama Mardi Gras celebration on Feb. 28, 2017. (WKRG)

A vehicle crashed into a marching band at an Alabama Mardi Gras celebration on Feb. 28, 2017. (WKRG)

Twelve members of the Gulf Shores High School marching band were injured, four of them critically, at the start of the event, city spokesman Grant Brown told CNN.

“A teenage band, which had just started to march down the parade route, was struck by a vehicle from behind. The vehicle was also part of the parade,” Brown said around noon, shortly after the incident occured.

The vehicle was driven by a 73-year-old man who accelerated and hit the band, according to Brown.

The incident is believed to be a “horrific accident,” he told the Associated Press.

A witness said he was joyously expecting a “great Mardi Gras day” when tragedy struck.

“I see a vehicle just going in the crowd. And I couldn’t believe my eyes. And then I saw it in the air and the wheels were still spinning. I just stopped and ran,” witness Ron Cutter told CNN while fighting back tears.

The remainder of the Gulf Shores Mardi Gras parade has been canceled.