1 dead after people hit by truck at South Florida gay pride march
(WILTON MANORS, Fla.) —One man was killed and another injured after two people were hit by a truck at a South Florida gay pride march on Saturday evening.
The incident took place at the Stonewall Pride Parade & Street Festival in Wilton Manors, just north of Fort Lauderdale. It came right before the start of the parade.
“What started as a celebration quickly turned to tragedy at today’s Stonewall Pride Parade,” Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. “Though authorities are still gathering information, we know two individuals marching to celebrate inclusion and equality were struck by a vehicle. One person has died and the other remains hospitalized.”
“This tragedy took place within feet of me and my BSO team, and we are devastated having witnessed this horrific incident,” Gregory added. “I’m proud of all the BSO and local first responders who leaped into action, running into the unknown and instantly provided care for the victims.”
Both individuals were taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where one was pronounced dead. Officials said the other man was expected to survive.
Authorities are still investigating whether it was an accident or deliberate act. The driver was taken into custody for questioning, according to police. The truck hit a nearby gate and came to a stop.
“The investigation is active and we were evaluating all possibilities,” Fort Lauderdale police spokesperson Detective Ali Adamson said at a press conference. “Nothing is out of the question right now, we have to look at all angles and that’s what we are doing.”
“The FBI is involved in an effort to do a thorough and complete investigation,” Adamson added.
The vehicle also narrowly missed hitting a convertible that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was riding in, WPLG reported.
“I am deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost and others seriously injured at tonight’s @WiltonManorsCty Stonewall #Pride Parade. My staff, volunteers and I are thankfully safe,” she wrote on Twitter.
An emotional Wasserman Schultz, who has represented the 23rd Congressional District since 2013, could be seen making calls and being consoled by staffers afterward.
“We’re praying for the victims and their loved ones as law enforcement investigates, and I am providing them with whatever assistance I can,” Wasserman Schultz added. “I am so heartbroken by what took place at this celebration. May the memory of the life lost be for a blessing.”
The parade was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., but the incident took place just beforehand. It was canceled after the crash, according to Wilton Manors police, though the festival continued.
Justin Knight, the president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, said in a statement provided to ABC Miami affiliate WPLG that he did not believe this was a targeted attack.
“Our fellow chorus members were those injured and the driver was also part of the Chorus family,” said Knight. “To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community.”
ABC News’ Jon Haworth, Matt Foster and Victor Oquendo contributed to this report.
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