Car plows into Ala. marching band during Gulf Shores Mardi Gras parade

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) - Members of a high school marching band were injured when they were hit by a car during the Gulf Shores Mardi Gras parade Tuesday, Local 15 has confirmed.

Gulf Shores public information officer Grant Brown confirms 12 people were injured, four critically. All have been taken to area hospitals.

According to witnesses, the driver's foot slipped off the brake pedal and onto the gas, causing the car to plow into the back of the Gulf Shores High School marching band.

Local 15's Cory Pippin reports the male driver was operating a vehicle that was part of the parade, just behind the band. The parade was then canceled.

If you witnessed and/or captured photos /video of the incident Police are asking you to send any images of the scene to Lt. Cowan at

Police say there is video from at least one angle of the Gulf Shores Mardi Gras accident.

Local 15 has confirmed that president of the Baldwin County chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, Larry Rathbun, was driving the vehicle.

Investigators are treating the incident as an accident.

A vehicle representing the local MOAA chapter was directly involved in the incident. In response, MOAA issued the following statement:

We have been made aware of the incident and our staff is gathering facts at this time. We don't know the circumstances and we're unaware of the cause of the incident involving our Gulf Shores Chapter. We're concerned about those who have been injured and our hearts and prayers go out to them and their families as they deal with this unfortunate mishap.

Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler released this statement this afternoon

This morning, [Feb. 28,2017] as the Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade was about to begin, a vehicle struck some members of the Gulf Shores High School Band. We do know that six of the twelve band members who were injured are middle school students. Six are high school students. We are yielding to the Gulf Shores Police Department regarding details that are available concerning this unthinkable incident. Right now our thoughts and prayers are with the Gulf Shores High School family. We greatly appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers, especially for those who have been injured and their families. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

UPDATE: Our latest information is that eleven Gulf Shores students continue to be treated at area hospitals. One student has been released from the hospital. We are very grateful. Please continue to keep the families of the injured in your thoughts and prayers. We have heard from people in Baldwin County and across the country who have extended their thoughts and prayers to these families. I must again thank all of our first responders who were immediately taking care of injured students. I appreciate the thoroughness of our law enforcement community and EMS. We know that our injured students are getting outstanding treatment and care from the medical communities of our area hospitals. We will continue to support the Gulf Shores family. We have not planned another news release. But as always, when I need to reach out to you, I will most certainly do so.
Eddie Tyler,

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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