Nov 21, 2022 - News

Raleigh mourns after a Christmas parade tragedy

Flowers lean on a tree next to a road in downtown Raleigh.

Flowers left along the route of the Raleigh Christmas Parade. Photo: Axios

Raleigh is once again trying to make sense of a terrible tragedy, after a young dancer performing in the Raleigh Christmas Parade died Saturday.

  • The parade is typically one of the city's merriest public events, ushering in the holiday season. Instead, Saturday's accident now hangs heavy over the city just a few days before Thanksgiving.

What happened: An 11-year-old girl and member of the CC & Company Dance Complex was killed by an out-of-control pickup truck that was towing a parade float. The truck rolled slowly at least a block and a half through the parade route before multiple people jumped in front to stop it.

  • The incident played out in the most public of spaces. Videos, which are hard to watch, show the truck blaring its horn as people desperately try to warn members of a dance troupe to get out of the way.
Raleigh Christmas Parade accident
Data: Axios research, Raleigh Police Department; Map: Axios Visuals

Raleigh Police said they've charged the driver, 20-year-old Landen Christopher Glass, with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade.

Just a little more than a month after a mass shooting in the Hedingham neighborhood, a sense of shock spread across the city again, and state and city leaders are again forced to shepherd a grieving community through yet another nightmare.

  • "Please reach out and check on each other," CC & Company wrote on their Facebook page. "Please pray for our dance families, especially for those directly affected … (O)ur hearts are broken and we must find ways to help each other through this."

Go deeper: WRAL has more details from the scene here

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