A young girl died Saturday during a pre-Christmas parade in North Carolina, police said. the minor was hit by a truck that was towing a festive float.
The driver, who lost control of the vehicle and struck the girl, was charged with reckless driving and other crimes, the Raleigh Police Department said in a statement.
Witnesses told WTVD-TV that people attending the Raleigh Christmas Parade heard the driver yelling that he had lost control of the truck and was unable to stop.
The minor hit by the van was participating in the parade, police said. The victim was part of a dance group, according to The News & Observer newspaper.
Olivia Bruce, a 14-year-old member of the dance troupe, told the newspaper that the vehicle also nearly hit her.
“We had started to dance in the parade when suddenly we heard a lot of honking. When we turned around we had the truck almost on our backs and we pulled over to the side,” Bruce said. No one else was injured in the parade from the incident.
The parade was later canceled and police advised drivers and passers-by to avoid the area.
The driver was one of three people in the vehicle that was towing the float at low speed, police said.
Investigators interviewed the driver, who was charged with homicide with a motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, use of inappropriate equipment, making irresponsible movements and carrying a firearm in a parade.
The names and ages of the victim and the driver were not immediately released.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the victim and to those who witnessed this tragic accident,” police said.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin expressed her condolences to the family and friends of the deceased minor.
“The day had begun with great joy,” the mayor tweeted. “My heart was overflowing. And now it hurts because a minor was run over in a tragic accident on the parade route.