While the investigation into a deadly truck accident at the start of the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival over the weekend is still ongoing, Fort Lauderdale police said Monday that “all available information and evidence indicates this was a terrible accident.”
Police on Monday also released the names of those involved in the crash that left one pedestrian dead and two others hurt.
The 77-year-old driver of the Dodge Ram that plowed into pedestrians during the parade Saturday was identified as Fred Johnson Jr. of Oakland Park.
The man killed was identified as 75-year-old James Fahy of Fort Lauderdale. The injured man was identified as Jerry Vroegh, 67, also of Fort Lauderdale. Vroegh was treated and released from Broward Health Medical Center. The founding director of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, Gary Keating, was treated for minor injuries, police said. All four people involved were members of the Gay Men’s Chorus.
The crash, which Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis originally labeled “a terrorist attack,” appeared to be the result of the truck “unexpectedly” accelerating as it started to move forward for the parade, police said.
After hitting the pedestrians, the truck continued across all lanes of traffic before coming to a stop in the Fort Lauderdale Garden Center. Yellow tape still surrounded the garden Monday, video from Miami Herald news partner CBS4 showed.
On Monday, the Gay Men’s Chorus put out a statement by Johnson.
“This was a horrible accident,” he said. “I offer my sincere regret to those who were impacted. I love my chorus family and the community. I would never do anything to intentionally harm anyone.”
The parade, which began in Fort Lauderdale and was supposed to go through Wilton Manors, was canceled after the crash, and so far has not been rescheduled.
Jeffrey Sterling, the CEO of the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival, said Sunday that they were “devastated by the tragic accident.”
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased, the other individuals involved, and the Chorus family,” he said in a social media post. “As we await the result of the police investigation, we ask the community to come together and pay tribute to the life lost so tragically.”
Justin Knight, president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, said Monday that 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 at the accident,” Knight said. “We thank everyone for their concern, compassion and support.”