On Saturday (June 19), a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Fla turned deadly when a driver of a pickup truck hit two men, killing one.
“Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver is also a part of the Chorus family,” Justin Knight said in a statement. “To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community. We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.” The Gay Men’s Chorus also mentioned that the truck was supposed to accompany the chorus in the Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors.
While authorities are still investigating the matter, initial reports claimed the crash was not an accident. “We know two individuals marching to celebrate inclusion and equality were struck by a vehicle,” Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. “This tragedy took place within feet of me and my [Broward Sheriff’s Office] team, and we are devastated having witnessed this horrific incident.”
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told WSVN-TV that he saw the driver suddenly accelerate when he was told he was next in the parade. Trantalis was one of the spectators who believed the crash was not an accident. The Mayor told the TV station that he believes the incident was “deliberate.”
Police said the driver was taken into custody, but it has not been announced whether he has been charged. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz was reportedly near the scene of the collision. The congresswoman was riding in a convertible at the parade.
In a statement released after the event, Wasserman Schultz 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.”
Another Florida representative Ted Deutch, tweeted, “Devastated by the horror we saw at Wilton Manors Pride.” “I’m so sorry, Wilton Manors. I’m so sorry, my friends.”