State Watch

Driver in deadly Pride parade crash apologizes

The driver in the deadly Fort Lauderdale Pride parade crash issued an apology Tuesday for the “tragic event” that left one person dead.

Fred Johnson Jr., 77, lost control of his pickup truck during the Stonewall Pride Parade in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, NBC News reports. Johnson and the man who died in the accident, James Fahy, 75, were both members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus.

It was initially unclear what caused the crash, but authorities said on Monday that it appeared to have been an accident and was “not a criminal act directed at anyone, or any group of individuals.”

“I offer my sincere regrets to all those who were impacted by this tragic event. I love my Chorus family and the community and would never do anything to intentionally harm anyone,” Johnson said in a statement, NBC reported. “Please know that I hold my fellow Chorus member, Jim Fahy, in my heart forever and offer my condolences to his friends and family.”

Two other men who were injured in the crash were treated for their injuries and released from the hospital shortly after the incident. The truck reportedly barely avoided running into Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), who had been riding in a convertible as part of the parade.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis (D) initially called the incident a “terrorist attack,” but issued an apology on Monday for saying so before more facts of the case were known.

“I regret the fact that I said it was a terrorist attack because we found out that it was not. But I don’t regret my feelings. I don’t regret that I felt terrorized by someone who plowed through the crowd,” Trantalis said during a vigil for the victims.

Tags car accident Dean Trantalis Debbie Wasserman Schultz Fort Lauderdale, Florida Pride parade

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