Revelry turns to horror at Florida Pride parade

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 21 Jun 2021

A driver slammed into spectators at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida, killing one man and seriously injuring another.

Witnesses said the crash appeared intentional, but Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Ali Adamson told reporters that authorities were investigating all possibilities.

The collision happened during the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade.

The driver and the victims were a part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus family, according to the group's president, Justin Knight. "To my knowledge it was an accident. This was not an attack on the LGBTQ community,'' Knight said.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said a pickup truck driver suddenly accelerated when he was told he was next in the parade, crashing into the victims. In the immediate aftermath, Trantalis said he believed the crash was "deliberate.''

Police said the driver was taken into custody, but it was unclear whether he had been charged.

Photos and video from the scene showed Democratic US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz in tears.

In a statement, Wasserman Schultz said she was "devastated that a life was lost.''

"I am so heartbroken by what took place,'' she said. "May the memory of the life lost be for a blessing.''

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