Woman Dies After Being Struck By Mardi Gras Float During Parade In New Orleans

A woman died after being struck by a Mardi Gras float during a parade in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Police Department said officers were called to the scene at around 9 p.m. CST on Wednesday after the woman was struck by a float at the intersection of Magazine Street and Valence Street during the Krewe of Nyx parade.

In a news release, police said the woman had been pronounced dead at the scene.

The 44-float parade, during the final week of Mardi Gras in the city, ended after the accident involving float 21, WWL-TV reported.

Police added that floats behind where the woman was struck were not allowed to continue along the parade route. Those floats were diverted to the Morial Convention Center.

"Non-float elements of the parade were allowed to detour around the scene and continue on the parade route, if they chose to do so," police added.

According to nola.com, the woman was struck by a double-decker float decorated with hot air balloons and flowers. Richard Anderson witnessed the accident and told the news website that it appeared the woman had tried to walk between the two sections of the float when she was hit.

Another witness, who did not want to be named, told WWL-TV that the woman was trying to catch beads when she apparently tripped over the hitch that connected the two sections of the tandem float and then got caught under the back half of the float.

"It was a double float and one float passed that had a hitch on it pulling the second float," the witness said. "She was trying to catch beads and she thought the first float had passed already so she went behind it trying to get to the other side and she tripped over the hitch."

In a news conference, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said ending the parade early was the "proper thing to do."

"Given the circumstances, I'm sure you would agree that cancelling the parade at the start of float 22 was the proper thing to do," she said.

In a statement to WWL-TV, Nyx Captain Julia Lee said the "parade takes a backseat when something like this happens on the route." She also offered her condolences to the family and friends of the woman killed. Krewe of Nyx has been contacted for additional comment.

No further details about the incident were released. But police said the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office will determine the cause of death and release the woman's name after an autopsy has been performed and her family has been notified.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, police said.

Anyone with information can contact NOPD Traffic Fatality Investigator Michael Baldassaro at 504-658-6208.

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Stock photo. A woman was killed after being struck by a Mardi Gras float during a parade in New Orleans. Getty