A member of a gay men’s chorus group unintentionally slammed into fellow chorists at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida.
One member of the group was killed and another seriously injured another, the group’s director said Sunday, clarifying initial speculation that it was a hate crime directed at the gay community.
Wilton Manors Vice Mayor Paul Rolli and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said the early investigation shows it was an accident. The driver was taken into custody, but it was unclear whether he had been charged.
Rolli told The Associated Press in a phone interview,
“The early investigation now indicates it looks like it was a tragic accident, but nobody’s saying finally what it is.”
Wilton Manors is a neighborhood about 10 miles north of Fort Lauderdale. A driver in a white pickup truck lined up with other vehicles taking part in the parade and slammed on the gas, striking spectators at the Stonewall Pride Parade.
Justin Knight, president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, told The Daily Beast,
“Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver was also a part of the Chorus family…”
Asked about claims that the incident was deliberate, Fort Lauderdale Police Det. Ali Adamson told reporters
“nothing is out of the question right now…
We have to look at all angles, and that is what we are doing.
In a statement, Rep. Schultz said she was
“deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost and others seriously injured at tonight’s Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade.”
“We’re praying for the victims and their loved ones as law enforcement investigates, and I am providing them with whatever assistance I can. I am so heartbroken by what took place at this celebration.”
Wilton Manors police confirmed on Twitter that the parade was canceled, while other events would continue.
BREAKING: At least 2 people have been hit by a truck at the beginning of the @WiltonManorsCty #Pride parade. @delarosaWPLG was only yards away at the time. He spoke with @DeanTrantalis. @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/CRRmGz0a12— Ian Margol (@IanMargolWPLG) June 19, 2021
A driver is in custody after he hit and killed someone at a Pride event in South Florida.https://t.co/6R9hqhk4Z5— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) June 20, 2021
Due to a tragic event, the Stonewall Pride Parade has been cancelled but the festival events will continue.— wmpd411 (@WMPD411) June 20, 2021
*THERE IS NO DANGER TO THE PUBLIC.* https://t.co/als3T0MG4m
Here’s our first look at the truck in that hit at least 2 people at the #Pride parade in @WiltonManorsCty. I’ve covered up the license plate in case this was a horrible accident. @WPLGLocal10 Per @jojoWPLG pic.twitter.com/uj4aBq0Hws— Ian Margol (@IanMargolWPLG) June 20, 2021
(Images, Twitter; via Daily Beast)