NEW ORLEANS — The irreverent Krewe of Tucks was rolling along St. Charles Avenue on Saturday when things suddenly got serious.
Katy Beith and Marlea Louviere were watching the parade near Felicity Street when, they said, they saw a woman lose her footing and fall under a parade float.
After 58-year-old Geraldine Carmouche was run over and killed days earlier during the Krewe of Nyx parade, the friends sprung into action, leaning down to pull the woman out as the float continued to roll.
“I went forward, and I got her right arm and pulled her up,” Louviere recalled Thursday.
“We … pulled her up and she said, ‘I’m OK, I’m OK,’” Beith said.
They avoided another float-related death in an incident they said lasted maybe 15 seconds.
Just hours later, though, 58-year-old Joe Sampson would fall under a float near Canal and South Galvez streets as Endymion rolled by.
Carmouche and Sampson both died after they fell under tandem floats.
City leaders quickly banned those types of floats for the rest of the Carnival season, and now the Mayor’s Carnival Advisory Committee is meeting to begin discussions about what, if any, changes should happen in the future.
Many krewe leaders said they are going into Thursday night’s committee meeting without any preconceived notions.
Others, such as Bacchus Captain Clark Brennan, said he would like barricades along the route to be considered.
While no one knows yet what Carnival 2021 will look like, Beith and Louviere — friends who are both working toward master’s degrees in counseling — said they know they were at the right place at the right time.
“Thank God,” Beith said. “It was really His grace that we looked down in that moment. Because otherwise there would’ve been nothing we could’ve done.”