Kansas City, Missouri 2021-06-20 13:47:37 –
Wilton Manors, Florida (AP) —A driver who crashed into a spectator at the start of a pride parade in southern Florida, killing one and seriously injuring another, happened to do so. The parade said on Sunday.
Saturday’s crash at the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade initially led to speculation that it was a hate crime directed at the gay community, including the mayor of nearby Fort Lauderdale.
However, Paul Lori, Deputy Mayor of Wilton Manners, said early investigations showed that it was an accident. The driver was detained, but it was unclear if he was charged.
“In early investigations, it looks like a tragic accident, but no one says what it is in the end,” Lori told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Fort Lauderdale police detective Ali Adamson told reporters that authorities are investigating all possibilities from the clash.
The drivers and victims were members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus Family, a small group of 25 people, mostly older men.
“Our fellow chorus members are injured and the driver is also part of the chorus family. As far as I know, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community,” President Justin Knight said in a statement on Sunday. , Called “unfortunate accident”.
Rolli was on the float in front of the chorus truck with Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and other city officials. Trantalis said the pickup truck driver suddenly accelerated when he was told he was in the next parade and collided with the victims.
Lori was on the other side of the float and did not witness the crash, but immediately jumped and ran to the victim. It was unclear what happened in the turmoil.
“People were really upset and some were crying,” Lori said. And there weren’t many parade participants as the crash happened in the area where the floats were lined up. “I got a call from someone waiting for the parade,” Is this true? ” Is that true or is there anything to worry about? I don’t know at that point. “
Trantalis initially told reporters that the act was intentional and caused confusion on Saturday night.
Wilton Manors is a close community near Fort Lauderdale, with lots of cute shops in the vibrant downtown, eating Rosie’s famous burgers and gossip and drinks at George’s Alibi Monkey Bar. You can drink.
Photos and videos from the scene show Democratic US MP Debbie Wasserman Schultz weeping while in a convertible at the parade.
In a statement on Saturday night, Wasserman Schultz said she was safe, but “deeply shaken and destroyed the loss of life.”
“I’m very sad about what happened at this celebration,” she said. “May the memory of the lost life be for the blessing.”
A chorus spokesman said the director did not want to be interviewed, adding that many members of the small group witnessed a fatal accident and were deeply upset.
“The reason people like Wilton Manners are the whole community is one big family, that’s how we treat each other … and this really rattled a lot of people,” Lori said. Said. “Even if it’s an accident, you just lose your life.”
June is Pride Month. A police attack on gay patrons at the Stonewall Inn in New York in June 1969 led to an uprising of LGBTQ Americans, triggering a gay rights movement.
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