A child died Saturday morning after the driver of a truck pulling a float in a Christmas parade in Raleigh, North Carolina, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a dance group, police said.
Three people were in the truck when the driver lost control and struck the boy “at low speed,” Raleigh police Lt. Jason Borneo said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
“Despite the efforts of medical personnel to save her life, the girl died as a result of her injuries,” Borneo said.
No one else was injured, police said.
“Today started off with such joy,” Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. wrote On twitter. “The Raleigh Christmas Parade brings smiles to so many faces. My heart was so full. And now it aches for the young woman who suffered a tragic accident on the parade route. Praying for her, her family and our community.”
Helicopter WTVD video it shows a white van driving through a crowd of dancers, causing some to move out of the way while others can be seen running. Video from the ground shows officers and parade attendees running up to the truck and leaning against it, trying to stop the vehicle.
The truck driver yelled out the window that he had lost control and was unable to stop the vehicle, witnesses said. WTVD.
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Cheyenne Hamilton, 17, said the news watcher the parade had just begun when the driver of one of her dance company’s floats lost control.
“The float behind us, their brakes started not working. And they were trying to get us all out of the way. But unfortunately, one of the dancers couldn’t get out of the way,” Hamilton told the outlet.
Girls from the dance company could be seen crying and being hugged by family members. WRAL-TV reported.
Officers interviewed the driver, who cooperated with detectives, police said. The driver was charged with misdemeanor death in a motor vehicle, carelessness and recklessness, improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade, police said.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the victim and those who witnessed this tragic incident. The victim’s family has requested privacy during this very difficult time,” police said in a statement. “Additional information will be provided as the investigation continues.”
The incident comes nearly a year after a man drove an SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring dozens more. The man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
Lawmakers and local organizations expressed their support online for those affected by the incident on Saturday.
“Praying for those who were injured in the Raleigh Christmas parade this morning,” US Rep. Deborah Ross, DN.C., wrote On twitter.
The Holly Springs High School Dance Program in Holly Springs, North Carolina, said he was sending “prayers for the dancer, the family, and the CC & Co. dance community.”
The dance group, CC & Co. Dance Complex, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The group shared images to social media early Saturday, writing that the dancers were “very excited” to be in this year’s parade.
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