The incident occurred on La. Hwy. 10 near La. hwy. 420 in Pointe Coupee Parish shortly after 5:30 p.m. Feb. 20 following the New Roads Mardi Gras Parade.
Based on evidence at the scene and witness accounts, Troopers discovered that an occupant was riding on the tongue of a Mardi Gras float that was being pulled by a Ford F-250 after the parade ended.
The float occupant, James Lee, 58, of New Roads, slipped and fell to the ground as the float was being towed forward. The float continued rolling forward and Lee was crushed.
A 1999 Dodge Pickup was following closely behind the float and also struck Lee. He sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Pointe Coupee Parish Coroner’s Office.
Troopers do not suspect alcohol to have been a factor in the crash. However, both drivers voluntarily submitted breath samples to Troopers that showed they had no detectable alcohol in their systems.
Troopers have also submitted a sample of Lee’s blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis.
The combination of floats, vehicles and pedestrians during Mardi Gras can be very dangerous if additional precautions are not taken.