News

Pickup truck driver veers into Pride parade, leaving at least one dead

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on the phone after the incident at the Pride celebration.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on the phone after the incident at the Pride celebration.Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

Update: Justin Knight, the President of the Fort Lauderdale’s Gay Men’s Chorus, confirmed via email to media reporters that the driver was “part of the Chorus family,” as well as the victims. He did not name them, but added, “To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community.”

While some witnesses described this as a possible intentional act, authorities have not. Detective Ali Adamson said an investigation is exploring all possibilities. The FBI is taking part according to reports.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has also confirmed that she is safe, but that she is “deeply shaken and devastated.” This story is ongoing and will continue to be updated.

A man has left at least three people injured after he drove his pickup truck into a crowd at a Pride celebration in Wilton Manors, Florida, on the evening of June 18. At least one of those injured in the apparent accident has died.

Out Fort Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis (D), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) — a candidate for governor — were all in attendance at Saturday’s festivities.

Related: Miami drag club is getting death threats after QAnon congresswoman says they sexually abuse kids

They were not harmed physically, but Wasserman Schultz was among many left emotionally shaken from witnessing what many initially believed was a deliberate act. She was reportedly feet away from the truck when it came railing into the crowd.

The incident took place right at the beginning of a twilight parade recognizing Pride in the Wilton Manors community just north of Fort Lauderdale, which was starting after 7:00 pm.

According to WSVN, a white pickup truck was amongst vehicles lined up to take part in the parade, and directly behind the vehicle that Rep. Wasserman Schultz was in. When it was the vehicle’s turn to move his vehicle in line and start the procession, the driver then drove into the crowd.

“A tragic incident occurred at today’s Stonewall event. Out of respect for everyone involved, the parade has been canceled and a thorough investigation is being conducted,” Wilton Manors mayor Scott Newton announced.

Local10 reporter Christian De La Rosa, who witnessed the incident, reported to his outlet that the driver was taken into custody. “He appears just fine… [and] not distraught,” he said in a live phone call.

“He appeared to be part of the parade,” he noted, “he was wearing a Pride shirt.”

Other witnesses said he appeared to be wearing a Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus shirt and expressed that it was an accident.

A separate incident took place in Show Low, Arizona where a driver ran over at least six cyclists and was then shot and wounded by police in a subsequent chase.

In April, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law House Bill 1, a bill he championed, which assigns civil immunity to anyone who drives a vehicle into protesters that are blocking a road during a “riot,” described as a “public disturbance” of two or more people.

The ACLU of Florida warned that the law could “shield violent counter-protesters from civil liability for killing a peaceful protester or demonstrator with their vehicle.”

 

Don’t just sing for Juneteenth. Commit to ending the racism that made it necessary.

Previous article

Mexico’s soccer team is begging fans to stop chanting homophobic slurs at their games

Next article