NEW ORLEANS – The coroner has identified the woman who was struck and killed by a double-decker Mardi Gras float in the Nyx parade Wednesday night.
Geraldine Carmouche, 58 years old, tried to cross over the hitch between two tandem floats, and was struck and killed by the rear float. The accident happened at about 9 p.m.on Magazine Street, near the corner of Valence Street.
Krewe of Nyx Captain Julie Lea released this statement on Thursday morning:
“We are devastated over the tragic event last night that resulted in the death of a relative of two Nyx sisters. Our board is having an emergency meeting right now to discuss how to move forward. We have received a lot of questions about the decision to cancel the second half of the parade. That decision, which we supported, was the city’s alone and it was made under a unique and tragic set of circumstances. As we continue to process what happened Wednesday night, we ask that you continue to keep the family and friends of Geraldine Carmouche in your prayers.”
The New Orleans Police Department stopped the parade after responding to the incident, which occurred after about half of the floats had passed the area. The two floats involved were Floats 21 and 22.
Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said the NOPD allowed bands in the parade to march around Float 22, but all the floats behind it and their riders remained stopped on the route until investigators allowed the floats to leave.
Mayor Latoya Cantrell told reporters on the scene that she agreed with that decision.
“Given the circumstances, I’m sure you would agree that making the decision to stop the parade at Float 22 was the proper thing to do.”
During Carnival season, parade-goers are reminded not to step into the street while the floats are rolling. Parents are told to keep their children from darting toward the floats to catch parade throws. Float riders are told not to told not to throw beads unless the floats are moving, and to never give them to people standing in street.
You can see the aftermath of the accident and see Mayor Cantrell’s reaction in our video report here.