News is still being sorted out as Wilton Manors, Florida is recovering from an incident that cancelled the city’s Pride Parade tonight. One of the gayest cities per capita in the nation is feeling a little shooken up tonight as news of the tragedy is spreading across the small town and the nation.
A man has been arrested after driving his truck through the Stonewall Parade crowd on June 19th, Saturday night, according to Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried. She was at the parade as a campaign stop as part of her run for Governor of Florida.
I’m lucky to be safe, but at least two people were hit and are in critical condition.
All of us here all praying for them and their families.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) June 19, 2021
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis was present and at the front of the parade near where the incident occurred and has also confirmed to NBC 6 that one person was killed in the incident. The parade was minutes away from starting when the driver drove through the crowd in Wilton Manors.
8:40 p.m.: The driver who drove into the parade crowd barely missed hitting Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was sitting in a convertible to participate in the parade.
“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told Local 10 News. “This is exactly what it is. Hardly an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person. Luckily they missed that person, but unfortunately, they hit two other people.” – SouthFloridaGayNews.com
Initially, people believed the truck intentionally drove through the crowd. However, on Twitter, Wilton Manors Commissioner Chris Caputo said, “It seems increasingly probable it was an accident. Still filled w sadness.”
The event unfolded over Twitter. The first tweet below shows the driver of the truck being detained and placed into a police cruiser while the response contains Fort Lauderdale’s Mayor Dean Trantalis reacting to the event and calling it an attack, which we are leaning now as information unfolds to seeing it as an accident.
— Ian Margol (@IanMargolWPLG) June 19, 2021
This next tweet may be hard to watch as it show paramedics working on some of the victims of the accident.
— Joey Spears (@pinto_spears) June 19, 2021
At 9 PM, Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton released a statement to the press regarding the incident at the parade:
“A tragic incident occurred at today’s Stonewall event. Out of respect for everyone involved, the parade has been canceled and a thorough investigation is being conducted.”
Due to a tragic event, the Stonewall Pride Parade has been cancelled but the festival events will continue.
*THERE IS NO DANGER TO THE PUBLIC.* https://t.co/als3T0MG4m
— wmpd411 (@WMPD411) June 20, 2021
We will try to keep you up to date as information unfolds, but at this time it appears that this may have been an unfortunate accident. One life was lost, one severely injured and in critical condition, and another was injured.
Update as of 4 PM on Sunday June 20th
The 77-year-old man behind the wheel did not intend to hurt a soul, police say.
The man was physically unable to walk in the parade, so his truck was chosen as the lead vehicle. Police say he was inching forward when he accelerated unexpectedly, hitting two pedestrians.
The driver knew both men who were hit. All three were members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus.
The Law Enforcement investigation of the incident at the Pride Parade concluded it was an accident. We express our sorrow and sadness to those involved and to their families. We remain strong as a community.
Source – SouthFloridaGayNews.com
One Dead, One Critical, Another Injured As Truck Drives Through Crowd