Great Britain

Driver of truck at Florida pride parade says crash was a ‘horrible accident’

The driver of a truck that ran into a crowd of revelers at the Stonewall Pride Parade in Florida, killing one pedestrian and hospitalising another, has said the incident was a “horrible accident”.

Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD) identified the truck driver as 77-year-old Fred Johnson Jr. The man who was killed during the incident was named 75-year-old James Fahy.

Jerry Vroegh, 67, was identified as the man who had been hospitalised and authorities confirmed he has now been discharged from Broward Health Medical Center.

All three men were members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus. A third injured pedestrian who was treated for minor injuries was identified as Gary Keating, 69.

“While the investigation into this incident is still considered active, all available information and evidence indicated this was a terrible accident,” FLPD said in the release.

The crash happened on Saturday at the beginning of the Stonewall Pride Parade in the nearby city of Wilton Manors when a white Dodge Ram accelerated unexpectedly.

Mr Johnson Jr, the driver of the truck, released a statement on Monday saying that the crash had been a “horrible accident” shortly after police identified him, news outlets said.

“This was a horrible accident and I offer my sincere regrets to all those who were impacted by this tragic event,” he said.

Mr Johnson Jr continued: “I love my Chorus family and the community and would never do anything to intentionally harm anyone.

“Please know that I hold my fellow Chorus member, Jim Fahy, in my heart forever and offer my condolences to his friends and family.”

Police said in an earlier statement on Sunday that a DUI investigation had been carried out on the driver on scene, saying it “showed no signs of impairment”.

Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade said in a statement that they were “devastated by the tragic accident”, saying their “hearts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased, the other individuals involved, and the Chorus family”.

Justin Knight, president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, told the Miami Herald on Monday that Mr Fahy was “a longtime, valued member of our Chorus family and he will be deeply missed”.

“We wish a speedy recovery for Chorus member Jerry Vroegh who was injured in the accident,” Mr Knight told the broadcaster. “We thank everyone for their concern, compassion and support.”

Police said that Mr Johnson Jr had remained on scene and has been cooperative with investigators for the duration of the investigation.

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