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Car drives into crowd at Mardi Gras parade

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UPDATE (3:05 p.m.) – According to Gulf Shores officials, the number of students in critical condition has fallen to three. Earlier in the afternoon, a total of four students were listed in critical.

During a press conference at 3 p.m., city officials said that Alabama Highway 59 will be reopening shortly.

Law enforcements officials say this incident was “an accident” and the driver had no criminal intent. They did not release the name of the driver in the crash.

Officials from the Baldwin County School System says they will have counselors on campus at Gulf Shores High School this week for students to talk with about the crash.

UPDATE (12:55 p.m.) – The Baldwin County School System confirms that 12 students from Gulf Shores were involved in the crash. Six of the students were in middle school and the other six students were in high school.

The School System issued the following statement:

“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. I want to thank all the EMS and law enforcement professionals who responded and are still assisting families. I especially want to thank the Gulf Shores Police Department and Fire/EMS. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.”

UPDATE (12:20 p.m.) – WKRG-TV has obtained new information about the vehicle and driver involved in the crash. The vehicle was representing the Military Officers Association of America.

Col. Jonathan Withington at the MOAA national headquarters confirms that a vehicle representing their Baldwin County chapter was involved in the crash. The identity of the driver is still unknown.

One victim was tranported by helicopter from South Baldwin Medical Center to USA Medical Center in Mobile.

New video from the Gulf Shores Fire Department shows the band and vehicle before the crash.

UPDATE (11:50 a.m.) – The city of Gulf Shores held a press conference Tuesday morning to update the crash at the Mardi Gras parade.

According to a city spokesperson, a late-model SUV driven by a 73-year-old male from Fairhope struck the Gulf Shores Marching Band at the start of the parade.

Twelve band members were struck by the SUV and four of the victims are in critical condition.

It is unknown whether alcohol or drugs played a factor, but authorities do not expect criminal intent. The driver and the vehicle are in police custody. Charges could be filed against the driver, but at this time, police have not made that determination.

The victims range in age from 12 to 17. Nine patients were transported to South Baldwin Medical Center in Foley, two were transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola and one other victim was transported to Baptist Hospital in northwest Florida. All injuries are trauma related according to emergency officials.

The city of Gulf Shores will hold another press conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) – A tragic start to Mardi Gras Day on the Gulf Coast as a car drove into a crowd of people before the start of the parade in Gulf Shores, Ala., our sister station WKRG-TV reports.

The Gulf Shores High School marching band was in the area of the crash. A city spokesperson says there were eleven members injured in the crash. Three of the band members are in critical condition.

Video of the scene shows multiple ambulances with several patients on stretchers. The extent of the injuries is unknown at this time.

“A teenage band has just started to march down the parade route when they were struck from behind. The vehicle was a part of the parade,” says Grant Brown, a spokesperson for the city of Gulf Shores.

The vehicle was a part of the Gulf Shores Parade and was behind the band in the parade route. Sources tell WKRG that the driver was an elderly man.

Portions of Highway 59 and surrounding roads are closed at this time. First responders are being escorted up and down Highway 59 to transport victims from the crash.

City officials are on scene, which has turned from carnival revelry to an emergency response.

The Gulf Shores Parade is officially canceled and the parade route is closed at this time.

City officials are asking anyone with cell phone video of the crash to not post the video to social media, but please email to bcowan@gulfshoresal.gov.This story originally appeared on WKRG.com.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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