Upcoming NC holiday parades share safety protocols in wake of Raleigh Christmas Parade tragedy

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Triangle parades share safety protocols in wake of Raleigh tragedy
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Safety protocols for upcoming parades are under increased scrutiny after a tragedy claimed the life on an 11-year-old at the Raleigh Christmas Parade.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Following Saturday's tragic incident during the Raleigh Christmas Parade, in which an 11-year old girl was hit and killed by an out-of-control truck, organizing committees and groups in cities and towns across the Triangle are sharing their safety protocols.

Witnesses tell ABC11 they heard the driver, since identified as 20 year-old Landen Christopher Glass, screaming out of the window that he lost control and couldn't stop the vehicle. Bystanders and law-enforcement rushed to the truck to slow its momentum.

"We've had an influx of phone calls and e-mails related to what are we doing to try to ensure things like this won't happen in Fayetteville. And our response has been pretty much uniform - we're working with the Fayetteville Police Department right now to create additional security along the parade route so we can have people immediately respond to something," said Brandon Price, President of the Fayetteville Rotary Club, the group responsible for hosting the parade in that city.

This will be the first full parade in Fayetteville since 2019, with Price sharing more than 100 vendors have already signed up ahead of Monday night's deadline. He said they spend months coordinating with local agencies ahead of the parade, which will take place December 3rd.

"We're trying to create enough distance between the entries where we do get a chance to respond at a time where can try to keep everyone as safe as possible," said Price.

A Durham spokesperson shared a statement about their updated protocols:

We were devastated to hear about Saturday's tragedy at the Raleigh Christmas Parade. Our hearts are with the victim, her family and friends who have endured an unthinkable loss, and our sister city of Raleigh. As we prepare our own Holiday Parade in Durham, the safety of participants, volunteers, and spectators continues to be DPR's top priority. This year, all City Park vehicles participating in the parade, and pulling floats, will be inspected within 7 days of the event. Walking groups will not be placed directly in front of floats in the parade procession lineup. Vehicle groups will be placed in front of all floats.

The spokesperson added that all City vehicles receive an NC Emissions and Safety Inspection by staff, which includes steering, tires, suspension, signals, headlights, breaks and break lights. Drivers of private vehicles participating in the event must possess a valid driver's license and liability vehicle insurance, and Durham Police will be placed along the route and in the parade.

In a statement, Town of Cary Public Safety Director Toni Dezomits told ABC11:

Cary public safety officials constantly evaluate our preparedness plans as it relates both to the event itself, environmental circumstances and external news and events that may impact the event, including reflecting on the tragic situation that unfolded at Raleigh's parade. Safety is paramount, and we are actively working in partnership with Cary Jaycees to modify and adjust in a way that best ensures the safety of participants and patrons alike.

A Holly Springs spokesperson said they are always reevaluating their protocols, while a staffer with Dunn's Chamber of Commerce said they are reaching out to its vendors to ensure their equipment is properly rated, and working with their police department to ensure safety.

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