Pride parade crash in Florida ‘unintentional’

Pride parade crash in Florida ‘unintentional’
Police and firefighters respond after a truck drove into a crowd of people during The Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Early investigations suggest the crash was accidental (Chris Day/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/AP)

A member of a men’s chorus group unintentionally slammed into fellow chorists at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida, killing one member of the group and seriously injuring another, the group’s director has said.

Wilton Manors Vice Mayor Paul Rolli and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said early investigations showed the crash was an accident, correcting initial speculation that it was a hate crime directed at the gay community.

The 77-year-old driver was taken into custody, but police said no charges had been filed and the investigation was ongoing.

The early investigation now indicates it looks like it was a tragic accident

Vice mayor Paul Rolli

The elderly driver had ailments that prevented him from walking, according to a statement on Sunday from Fort Lauderdale Police, who said he was cooperating with the investigation and there was no evidence drugs or alcohol was involved.

“The early investigation now indicates it looks like it was a tragic accident, but nobody’s saying finally what it is,” Mr Rolli told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

The driver and the victims were part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus family, a small 25-member group of mostly older men.

“Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver is also a part of the Chorus family. To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community,” President Justin Knight said in a statement Sunday, calling it “an unfortunate accident.”

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