Wilton Manors

Preliminary Findings Suggest Wilton Manors Pride Parade Incident Was An Accident

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Fort Lauderdale police have released new information about a crash that killed one man and injured another at the Stonewall Pride Parade and Festival in Wilton Manors Saturday night, just before the event began.

The driver of the 2011 white Dodge Ram that plowed into the two victims was a 77-year-old man, who police say had physical ailments that prevented him from walking the parade route and was selected to be the lead vehicle of the parade, according to police.

As the truck driver waited for the start of the parade, he unexpectedly accelerated, struck the two victims and drove across all traffic lanes before crashing into the fence of a business on the west side of the street.

The driver remained on the scene where he was apprehended. Police say he was cooperative throughout the investigation.

A DUI test showed no signs of impairment on the driver's behalf.

While no arrests have been made, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department continues to investigate the incident and will not be releasing the names of the involved parties due to the status of the investigation.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department asks anyone who may have witnessed the incident, who has not already spoken to investigators, to contact Traffic Homicide Investigator Paul Williams at (954) 828-5755.

In an interview on Saturday after the accident, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis called the accident "a terrorist attack on the LGBTQ community."

Sunday he released a statement on social media walking back his Saturday comments. In the statement, he said that as an eyewitness, he "feared it could be intentional based on what I saw from mere feet away."

He continued by applauding the police effort and stated that "a picture is emerging of an accident in which a truck careened out of control."

A vigil was held Sunday, June 20 at 6 p.m. at the Sunshine Cathedral located at 1480 SW 9th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

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