Not an ordinary carnival season on the Gulf Coast

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Mardi Gras season is meant to be a time filled with joyful celebrations and whimsical debauchery. However, recent parade accidents left many parade goers feeling cautious of this normally rather safe holiday.

While it may be surprising, accidents involving a Mardi Gras parade aren’t too common. If anything, we hear of spectators being injured due to getting too close to a passing float or during a DUI accident as celebrants make their way home.

But this year, three accidents left dozens of innocent parade spectators and participants injured and hospitalized through no fault of their own.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

On Saturday, a drunk driver injured almost 30 people in New Orleans. The man allegedly struck two parked cars and a large crowd of people before slamming into a dumpster.

On Tuesday, about a dozen high school band members were struck from behind by a vehicle participating in the parade during an as yet unexplained accident just as the parade was set to head out in Gulf Shores, Ala.

While officials have said it’s unclear why the elderly man driving the vehicle suddenly lurched forward, four young people are critically injured.

Another accident reported in Biloxi on Tuesday afternoon resulted in the death of a man after he fell off the tailgate of a pickup truck, impaling himself onto a piece of rebar.

These horrific accidents are not common and shouldn’t be viewed as just another carnival season.

Every safety precaution needs to be taken in the future to prevent these disasters from happening. That includes being extremely cautious when hundreds and thousands of people are consuming adult beverages around heavy machinery.

While Picayune was spared any accidents during our own Mardi Gras parade, we all pray for those injured and lost in our neighboring areas along the Gulf Coast.