Truck runs over two people, killing one, at Florida Pride parade

Two participants in a Florida Pride parade were run over by a truck Saturday night, in what the mayor of Fort Lauderdale called a “terrorist attack against the LGBT community.”

Others, however, including members of a local Gay Men’s Chorus, have maintained the deadly crash was an accident and police said they are investigating all possibilities.

One of the victims died from their injuries, and the other is in critical condition, according to WPLG Local 10 News.

The white pickup truck involved in the incident was lined up with other floats when the driver hit the gas and ran over the two would-be marchers at the start of the Wilton Manors celebration around 7 p.m., the station reported.

The driver, who narrowly missed hitting the convertible Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was riding in, was taken into custody, according to the report.

Police have not announced any charges against the unidentified individual or discussed a possible motive, according to WPLG. The driver claimed to cops the crash was an accident, the station said.

The driver and the victims are members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, according to the group’s leader, who said the incident was unintentional.

“To my knowledge, it was an accident. This was not an attack on the LGBTQ community,” the chorus’ president Justin Knight said in a statement.

“We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.

However, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who was at the parade in the gay-friendly Broward County city, told the station he believes the driver was trying to hit the Democratic congresswoman.

Police and firefighters respond after the truck drove into the crowd.
Chris Day/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., makes a call after a truck drove into a crowd of people during The Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors, Fla.
The truck reportedly came close to hitting the car of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Chris Day/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
Trantalis added that this was a deliberate attack at the parade.
Mayor Trantalis believes the incident was a deliberate attack at the parade.
Larry Marano
The driver of the truck was taken into custody, according to WPLG Local 10 News.
The driver of the truck was taken into custody, according to local media.
Larry Marano

“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis told Local 10 News.

“This is exactly what it is. Hardly an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person. Luckily they missed that person, but unfortunately, they hit two other people.”

Wasserman Schultz was pictured crying at the scene. In a statement, she said she was safe but “deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost.”

“I am so heartbroken by what took place at this celebration,” she said. “May the memory of the life lost be for a blessing.”

A witness told The South Florida SunSentinal she believed the crash was premeditated.

“All of a sudden there was a loud revving of a truck and a crash through a fence,” Spectator Christina Currie said. “It was definitely an intentional act right across the lanes of traffic.”

“Due to a tragic event, the Stonewall Pride Parade has been canceled but the festival events will continue,” the Wilton Manors Police Department tweeted.

With AP wires

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