Florida: Man killed after truck crashes into crowd at Pride parade

A driver was taken into custody after the truck ploughed into a crowd of people during The Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors, Florida (Picture: AP)

A man has been killed and another seriously injured after they were hit by a pick-up truck at a Pride parade in Florida.

Police are keeping an open mind on the motive behind the incident on Saturday night while some witnesses said the crash appeared to be intentional.

It happened during the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade in the city north of Fort Lauderdale.

The driver and the victims were a part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus family, according to a statement from the group’s president Justin Knight.

Mr Knight said: ‘To my knowledge it was an accident. This was not an attack on the LGBTQ community.

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

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said a driver of a pick-up truck suddenly accelerated when he was told he was next in the parade, crashing into the victims, according to WSVN-TV.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is comforted after a truck drove into a crowd of people during The Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors, Fla., Saturday, June 19, 2021. A driver has slammed into spectators at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida, injuring at least two people. Wilton Manors police tweeted Saturday night that the parade was canceled due to a ???tragic event.??? (Chris Day/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

An emotional Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is comforted after the incident (Picture: AP)

Police and firefighters respond after a truck drove into a crowd of people during The Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 19, 2021. WPLG-TV reports that the driver of the truck was taken into custody. (Chris Day/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Police and firefighters shut down the scene after the fatal crash (Picture: AP)

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Mr 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 while in a convertible at the parade.

Mrs Wasserman Schultz said she was safe but ‘deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost’.

She added: ‘I am so heartbroken by what took place at this celebration.

Zuma via PA Images June 19, 2021, Wilton Manors, FL, United States: A pickup truck reportedly drove into a crowd of spectators at the start of the Wilton Manors Stonewall Parade and Festival, on Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Credit Image: ? TNS via ZUMA Wire)

Police are keeping an open mind on the motive behind the incident (Picture: TNS/ZUMA Wire)

‘May the memory of the life lost be for a blessing.’

Spectator Christina Currie told the South Florida SunSentinel that she was with her family at the start of the parade.

She said: ‘All of a sudden there was a loud revving of a truck and a crash through a fence.

‘It was definitely an intentional act right across the lanes of traffic.’

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said: ‘Though authorities are still gathering information, we know two individuals marching to celebrate inclusion and equality were struck by a vehicle.

‘This tragedy took place within feet of me and my (Broward Sheriff’s Office) team, and we are devastated having witnessed this horrific incident.’

June is Pride Month, commemorating the June 1969 police raid targeting gay patrons at the Stonewall Inn in New York that led to an uprising of LGBT+ Americans and served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.

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