Cops: Parade Crash Caused by Senior Driver's Mistake

Man driving truck was 77, accidentally accelerated
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2021 2:50 AM CDT
Updated Jun 21, 2021 3:10 AM CDT
Pride Parade Crash Driver Was Participating In the Event
Flowers lie at the scene where a driver slammed into spectators at the start of a Pride parade Saturday evening, killing one man and seriously injuring another, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The driver who allegedly ran into marchers at a Pride parade in Florida Saturday, killing one and seriously injuring another, was himself a participant in the event, authorities say. The 77-year-old is a member of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, as were both men who were hit, and authorities say the driver "had ailments preventing him from walking the duration of the parade and was selected to drive as the lead vehicle." He was allegedly inching forward in preparation for the start of the parade when the truck unexpectedly accelerated, the Sun-Sentinel reports. He showed no signs of impairment, was cooperating with police, and has not currently been charged with any crimes, Reuters reports.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis was criticized for telling reporters soon after the tragedy that it may have been an intentional attack on LGBTQ+ people, USA Today reports. He later explained on Twitter that he witnessed the whole thing from "mere feet away" and that it had initially seemed it could have been carried out purposefully, but "as the facts continue to be pieced together, a picture is emerging of an accident in which a truck careened out of control." The truck also came within inches of hitting the car that was to drive Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz through the parade route. (More Florida stories.)

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