Two Alla riders are now recovering at home after they fell off floats. We’re told one of the men was a 10-year veteran and the other a rookie. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano has the latest.
Tonight Mardi Gras beads hang from barricades and branches and Krewe of Alla members are counting their blessings.
“I was right in front of the float that had the gentleman that was more seriously injured and probably missed seeing it by just a few seconds because we were both in Lee Circle at the time, and then when we were pulling out of the circle is when it happened,” says President of the Krewe of Alla Frank Borne.
Borne was just one float away as a 10-year veteran toppled over the upper deck of a float at Lee Circle. Borne says the man was not wearing his safety harness.
“He had seen some relatives of the man next to him, got excited, and in the moment just started throwing a lot of beads and ended up over the side,” explains Borne.
The veteran was transported to the hospital in critical condition, but he quickly stabilized and was released on Monday after being treated for a concussion and head laceration.
The ten year veteran was the second Alla rider to fall off a float Sunday. The first, a rookie, also toppled from the upper deck. This accident happened near St. Charles and Harmony. Borne says it appears the man slipped out of his harness.
“It’s a very serious thing to fall, especially from the second level. You can injure yourself pretty good. You could even die,” says Borne.
Yesterday was the first time Alla paraded Uptown. The krewe was tied to the West Bank for decades. Borne says in the past riders were not tethered to floats, but this year each man was issued a safety harness and instructed to wear it as required by the City of New Orleans.
Tonight Borne has a message for future riders, “There will probably be 30,000 to 50,000 people riding on parades between not and St. Patrick’s Day and it’s very important that everyone follow the rules.”
The New Orleans Fire Department is investigating.