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Drunk Driver Plows into Mardi Gras Crowd, Injuring 28 Pedestrians

According to KPRC2, 28 pedestrians enjoying a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade were injured in a crash involving a drunk driver on Saturday night.

About the Mardi Gras Parade Crash

The injury accident occurred at around 6:40 p.m. local time in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. A crowd of people were watching the Mardi Gras parade floats roll by when they were struck by a car.

KPRC2 reports that 21 pedestrians were hospitalized with injuries in the collision. Seven people were treated at the scene for minor injuries. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. Three victims remain hospitalized with moderate to serious injuries.

The driver, 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto, had a blood alcohol content of .232 — nearly three times the legal limit. According to KPRC2, Rizzuto faces a litany of charges, including first-degree negligent vehicular injuring, hit-and-run driving causing serious injury, and reckless operation of a vehicle.

Alcohol-Impaired Driving Statistics

The following information regarding impaired driving is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2014, 9,967 people died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States.
  • Alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities decreased by 1.4 percent from 2013 to 2014.
  • Alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities have accounted for 30 to 32 percent of all crash fatalities since 1995.
  • Over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2014 (CDC).


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