JUST IN: Fatal Truck Accident at Florida Pride Parade Ruled ‘Tragic Accident’

 

Saturday’s deadly accident at a Pride Parade in Wilton Manors, Florida (just north of Fort Lauderdale) has been ruled a “tragic accident,” according to CNN.

One person was killed, and two others injured (one critically) when a white pickup truck suddenly drove into the crowd shortly before the parade was scheduled to begin. Speculation that the incident had been intentional — either targeting the LGBTQ attendees or Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) who were there to participate in the parade — quickly spread, much of it fueled by comments that Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis made to the media.

Late Saturday night, the President of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus released a statement saying that the driver was a member of their organization and they believed this was “not an attack on the LGBTQ community,” but instead a “tragic accident.”

Local police have now confirmed that the incident was an accident.

As CNN national correspondent Natasha Chen told Jim Acosta, the police chief’s statement said that “we now know yesterday’s incident was a tragic accident, and not a criminal act directed at any one person or group of individuals.”

Police also said, Chen continued, that the driver was a 77-year-old man who was going to be a participant in the parade, planning to drive his truck in the procession instead of walking. But as he started moving his truck forward, “it suddenly accelerated and it, unfortunately, hit two pedestrians, striking them across the street there and then he plowed into that garden center you see with the yellow tape there.”

The driver and all of the victims are members of the Gay Men’s Chorus, making this “a really difficult moment for them,” said Chen, but while they were “deeply saddened by this loss” they did want to thank the first responders for their quick action and the community for their “love and support.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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