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Police: Car plows into parade crowd in New Orleans; 12 hurt

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New Orleans - Police said at least 21 people were injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans.

It happened about 6:42 p.m. Saturday.

New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said one man is in custody.

"We highly suspect that subject was highly intoxicated," Harrison said.

Harrison said the man was traveling on the opposite side of the road from the parade route, and in the opposite direction from the parade.

The driver hit two vehicles before driving over a curb and into the median.

According to Director of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services Jeff Elder, 21 patients ranging from small children to those in their "30s or 40s" were transported to 10 area hospitals.

Five of those were taken to a trauma center in guarded condition.

It took 30 to 40 minutes to get all the patients off the scene.

One NOPD officer working the parade detail was injured. She was taken to a hospital. Injuries were not life-threatening.

Elder says seven other people were injured but declined treatment.

According to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, this was the second incident on a parade route Saturday.

Earlier in the day, a man was shot in the side after a bullet shot through a port-a-potty behind parade-goers. Police are still searching for the gunman.

"We've had individuals who made really bad decisions today that have really caused serious damage and consequences to a lot of citizens, which is really a shame because there's hundreds of thousands of people that have been enjoying themselves," Landrieu said.

"This sends a strong message about not drinking and driving and making smart decisions," Harrison said.

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