FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The driver involved in a fatal crash in Wilton Manors Saturday before the Stonewall Pride Parade was identified as Fred Johnson Jr.
Johnson Jr., 77, released a statement on Monday saying, “This was a horrible accident and I offer my sincere regrets to all those who were impacted by this tragic event. I love my Chorus family and the community and would never do anything to intentionally harm anyone. Please know that I hold my fellow Chorus member, Jim Fahy, in my heart forever and offer my condolences to his friends and family.”READ MORE: Florida Tax Collector To Workers: Get Vaccinated Or Find A New Job
James Fahy, 75, was identified as the man killed in the crash and and Jerry Vroegh, 67, was named as the person was suffered injuries.
The three people involved were all members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus.
Flowers were left at the spot where both victims were hit.
Police said Johnson Jr. had ailments that prevented him from walking the duration of the parade, which was why he was selected to be the lead vehicle. In anticipation of the parade’s start, police said, the truck unexpectedly accelerated, at which point it struck the two men.
“This was a pure accident. At first, we didn’t know but I’m telling you right now, I talked to a gentleman that was there right before it happened. He asked this gentleman ‘hey please can you move your truck up just a little bit. From what I understand he had a problem with his leg, that’s why he didn’t walk in the parade and was driving the truck. His foot fell off the brake, got stuck behind the brake, and was lodged into the accelerator,” said Wilton Manors May Scott Newton.READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale Shaken Baby Case From 1984 Leads To Murder Charge
Johnson Jr. remained on the scene and is cooperating with the police.
Both victims were rushed to Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition. Fahy died shortly after, while the other is expected to survive.
In response, the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus placed the following message on their Facebook page:
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death and injuries that occurred as a result of an unfortunate accident at the start of the Stonewall Pride Parade. As the Chorus family mourns together, we thank the community for their love and understanding.”
On Sunday, the community came together at the Sunshine Cathedral for a prayer vigil in honor of the victims.
Monday, Fort Lauderdale police released this statement:MORE NEWS: Two Men Arrested In 2016 Murder Of FIU Student
“While the investigation into this incident is still considered active, all available information and evidence indicate this was a terrible accident. Investigators are continuing to exhaust all attempts at obtaining sworn statements from witnesses and are still encouraging anyone who may have witnessed the incident, who has not already spoken to investigators, to contact Traffic Homicide Investigator Paul Williams at (954) 828-5755.”