REPORT: Driver Asked to ‘Close Gap’ Between Gulf Shores Band Members Before Accident

News 5 has obtained a copy of the report on the accident that sent several Gulf Shores High School band members to the hospital on Feb. 28 during a Mardi Gras parade. An SUV behind the band in the parade ran into the students. 12 students had to be hospitalized.

The report reveals that 73-year-old Larry Rathbun, the driver of the vehicle that struck the band members, told responding officers that someone “standing out in the road” instructed him to speed up in order to close the gap between the band members.

Rathbun said he then accidentally pushed too hard on the accelerator and collided with several band members. He also claimed that he was unfamiliar with the vehicle, neither being the owner nor having driven it prior to the parade.

All 12 band members have since been released from the hospital.
A excerpted diagram from the report below shows how Rathbun (Unit 1) rounded a street corner just before colliding with the students. The initial report is also included below.

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