A young girl was killed after being hit by a truck pulling a float in a holiday parade in North Carolina, police said. The driver of the truck has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless, improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade, police said.
According to the Raleigh Police Department, the incident occurred around 10:14 a.m. local time, when the driver of the truck lost control and hit the child, who had been participating in the parade, “at a low rate of speed.”
“The child was seriously injured. Despite life-saving efforts by medical personnel, the child died as a result of her injuries,” police said.
Neither the child who was killed nor the driver have been publicly identified.
According to CBS Raleigh affiliate WNCN-TV, members from the CC & Co. Dance Complex, a dance school located in Raleigh, said their parade float was right in front of the crash. One of the dance school’s members told the outlet that the girl who was hit was a fellow dance member.
“We are still in shock as we write these words to you. This morning’s events have devastated us. We also know many of our young ones witnessed this tragedy, and that is hard to fathom as well,” the dance complex said in a statement posted to Facebook.
“We never expected to experience a day like today, and the only thing getting us through is the tremendous love and support we’ve seen expressed among our CC & Co. Dance family,” it added.
“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of the young girl who lost her life today at the Raleigh Christmas Parade,” Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin tweeted. “Our prayers are with her family, friends and the dancers from CC & Co. The community is here for you as we try to understand and process this shared tragedy.”
Three people were in the truck at the time, and it was also towing a float with “numerous participants” police said. Nobody else was injured during the incident, police said.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the victim and those who witnessed this tragic incident,” police said.
The parade was halted and ultimately canceled following the crash.