North Carolina holiday parade truck crashes, killing girl

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A truck pulling a float for a holiday parade in North Carolina crashed Saturday, hitting and killing a girl attending the event, news outlets reported.

The driver who lost control of the vehicle and struck the child was arrested and charged with reckless driving and other offenses, the Raleigh Police Department said in a news release. Police identified the driver as Landen Christopher Glass, 20.

Witnesses told WTVD-TV that people attending the Raleigh Christmas parade heard the driver of the pickup truck screaming that he had lost control of the vehicle and couldn’t stop it before the crash.

The girl hit by the truck was part of a dance group taking part in the holiday parade, The News & Observer reported.

Olivia Bruce, a 14-year-old member of the dance group, told the newspaper that the truck almost hit her too.

“We started dancing in the parade and then all of a sudden we just heard a lot of honking. And when we turned around, we saw the truck almost on our backs, so we turned away,” Bruce said.

An eyewitness, Christine Barnes, told WRAL-TV that the girls in the dance group could not hear the driver honking the truck’s horn over the music playing. Adults struggled to get the kids out of the way of the truck, she added.

“The girls were just hysterical,” Barnes said. “It was really traumatizing.”

Barnes said the truck hit several other girls within inches.

“The truck wasn’t going that fast, but because the girls didn’t know it was coming, they just couldn’t dodge it,” she said.

No one else on the parade was injured in the collision.

The parade was canceled after the crash.

Police advised motorists and pedestrians to avoid the area.

Glass was one of three people in the vehicle who were towing the swimmer at low speed, police said.

Investigators questioned Glass, who was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, use of improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade.

The girl’s names and age were not immediately released.

“Our hearts go out to the family of the victim and those who witnessed this tragic incident,” police said.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin sent her condolences to the girl’s family and friends.

“Today started with so much joy,” the mayor tweeted. “My heart was so full. And now it hurts for the young girl who was struck in a tragic accident on the parade route.”

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