One man was killed and another injured when they were run over by a pickup truck as the Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors was just getting started Saturday night.
As reported by The Associated Press, police believed the act to be an accident but said they were investigating all possibilities. “To my knowledge it was an accident,” said Justin Knight, president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, in a statement. The driver and victims were members of the chorus. “This was not an attack on the LGBTQ community. We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.”
Witnesses of the crash said the act appeared to be deliberate. According to WSVN-TV, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said the driver suddenly accelerated once he learned that he was near the parade site. In the crash’s aftermath, Trantalis stood by his assertion that he believed the crash was intentional. The driver was taken into custody by police, but it was unclear whether he had been charged.
An onlooker told the South Florida SunSentinel that she was enjoying the parade with her family when suddenly there was a loud “revving of a truck” and a “crash through a fence.” “It was definitely an intentional act right across the lanes of traffic,” the onlooker said. Videos from the scene also showed Democratic U.S. Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz in tears in a convertible along the parade route. She put out a statement saying that she was safe but “deeply shaken.” “I am so heartbroken by what took place at this celebration,” she said in a statement issued Saturday night. “May the memory of the life lost be for a blessing.”
Prayers to the family of the victim.