A child was killed Saturday morning after the driver of a truck pulling a float at a Christmas parade in Raleigh, North Carolina, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a dance troupe, police said.
Three people were in the truck when the driver lost control and hit the child “at low speed,” Raleigh Police Lieutenant Jason Borneo said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
“Despite life-saving efforts by medical personnel, the child died as a result of her injuries,” Borneo said.
No one else was injured, police said.
“Today started with such joy,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “The Raleigh Christmas Parade brought smiles to so many faces. My heart was so full. And now it hurts for the young girl who was tragically injured on the parade route. Praying for her, her family and our community.”
Helicopter video from WTVD shows a white pickup truck driving through a crowd of dancers, causing some to pull out of the way while others run. Video from the ground shows officers and parade-goers running to the truck and leaning against it, trying to stop the vehicle.
The driver of the truck yelled out the window that he had lost control of the wheel and was unable to stop the vehicle, witnesses told WTVD.
Wisconsin Christmas Parade Attack:Darrell Brooks sentenced to life in prison
Cheyenne Hamilton, 17, told The News Observer the parade had just begun when the driver of one of her dance troupe’s floats lost control.
“The float behind us, their brakes started not working. And they all tried to get us out of the way. But unfortunately one of the dancers couldn’t get out of the way,” Hamilton told the outlet.
Girls from the dance company were seen crying and being hugged by family members, WRAL-TV reported.
Officers questioned the driver, who was cooperating with detectives, police said. The driver was charged with death by motor vehicle, carelessness and recklessness, improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm during a parade, police said.
“Our thoughts go out to the victim’s family and those who witnessed this tragic incident. The victim’s family has asked for privacy at this very difficult time,” police said in a statement. “Additional information will be provided as the investigation progresses.”
The incident comes nearly a year to the day after a man drove an SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring dozens more. The man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
Lawmakers and local organizations expressed their support online for people affected by the incident on Saturday.
“Praying for those injured during the Christmas parade in Raleigh this morning,” U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross, D.N.C., wrote on Twitter.
The Holly Springs High School Dance Program in Holly Springs, North Carolina, said it was sending “prayers for the dancer, family, and the CC & Co. dance community.”
The dance troupe, CC & Co. Dance Complex did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The troupe shared photos on social media early Saturday, writing that the dancers were “so excited” to take part in this year’s parade.