UPDATE: Victim in NOLA Parade Crash Speaks to News 5, Thought She Was Going to Die


News 5’s Emily DeVoe has spoken to one of the victims in the terrifying Mardi Gras crash in New Orleans that injured 28 people.

“It was just so loud,” says Rachel Marinaro, who suffered extreme contusions to her legs after being directly hit by the vehicle. “People thought it was gunshots, but it was the truck just hitting.”

“I was holding one of my friend’s hands and I couldn’t feel my legs. So somehow I got on my phone and Facetimed my parents because I thought I had to say goodbye.”

The interview airs tonight on News 5 at 6:00.


Spring Hill College’s Facebook page announced the students hurt in New Orleans were released from the hospital “shortly after midnight and are with friends and family.”

The post reads:

All of our students were released from the hospital shortly after midnight and are safely with friends and family.
We are deeply grateful for everyone’s prayers and for the grace of God that brought them through this ordeal.
We are also grateful to the EMS and first responders of New Orleans, as well as the parents, alumni and friends of Spring Hill College in New Orleans. Many of you stepped forward last night to help at the hospital and to provide support and comfort to our students, and many others have continued to extend offers of assistance.
Thank you, Badger community!

Update 9:40 AM

 Neilson Rizzuto, 25, is charged in the New Orleans crash that injured dozens of Mardi Gras revelers including four Spring Hill College students.

A 3 year old child and an NOPD officer were also injured when police say Rizzuto plowed his truck into the crowd. The driver appeared highly intoxicated, witnesses told WWL-TV.

Spring Hill College officials tell News 5 there is nothing new to add and that they will contact us when an update is available.


From Spring Hill College’s FaceBook Page:  “On the evening of Saturday, February 25, a vehicle struck a group gathered for a parade in New Orleans. Four Spring Hill College students were among those injured. President Puto is en route to New Orleans and we will provide updates as they are available. Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured as well as their families and friends.”



NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans police say they have a suspect in custody after a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

Police Chief Michael Harrison says it looks like a case of driving while intoxicated.

The chief says 28 were injured while watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City on Saturday afternoon.

Harrison says that 21 people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition.


New Orleans, LA (WWL) (AP)- NOPD is investigating a crash where a vehicle ran into a crowd of people of people at the intersection of Orleans and Carrollton Avenues.

Police say 12 people were injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans.

The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/2lWHQCg ) reports the crash was reported Saturday at about 6:45 p.m.

New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Ambria Washington says that “initial reports show so far that about a dozen people are in critical condition.”

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Police say that number could increase as the investigation continues.

No further information is available at this time but News 5 will continue to follow this story and hope to learn more tonight at 10.

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