Here's the latest information on the fatal parade accident:
Original Story Below:
A woman was run over and killed by a float in the middle of the Krewe of Nyx parade Wednesday night, casting a pall over the first big night of parading in the final weekend of the Carnival season.
The accident occurred near Magazine Street and Valence sometime after 8 p.m.
The 44-float parade was halted at the point of the accident, which involved float 21. Preliminary police reports show the woman may have been trying to reach for beads.
The identify of the 58-year-old victim was identified Thursday morning as Geraldine Carmouche.
A witness told WWL-TV's Mike McDaniel that the woman was trying to cross in between a tandem float, which is a float that is connected in the middle. The woman apparently tripped over the hitch connecting the two sections and fell to the ground before being 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," said the witness who did not wish to be identified. "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."
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that the first 20 floats, the ones before the accident, would finish the parade but that the remaining floats would not.
"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," said Cantrell at a somber press briefing from the scene.
Ferguson said that not a lot was known about what happened prior to the accident.
"A parade goer was struck by a float. As a result of that, what was in front of that has continued on, we have diverted the other elements," he said. "The fatality resulted in the death of an adult female. We don’t know what occurred prior to this incident."
A dramatic photo (above) showed the captain of the Krewe of Nyx being informed about the fatal accident. A subsequent video (below) shows the captain's float resuming, but without the captain onboard.
A statement was issued by the captain that said, "On such a joyous night, this is obviously a tragic occurrence," said Nyx Captain Julia Lea. "The parade takes a backseat when something like this happens on the route. On behalf of the entire Krewe of Nyx, along with the city of New Orleans, we offer our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the individual involved."
An observer said that that people in the area were screaming for help and spectators were visibly upset with children crying.
Fatal float-related accidents are rare, but they have happened in the past. Back in 2008, an Endymion float rider died when he was hit by a float. And according to NOLA.com, a 3-year-old girl was crushed by a Carnival float in 1981.