A young girl performing at a North Carolina Christmas parade was killed after she was struck by an out-of-control truck towing a float in the procession. Police arrested Landen Christopher Glass, 20, who was behind the wheel of the white GMC Sierra when tragedy struck in downtown Raleigh Saturday.
The driver was reportedly armed when he was stopped and arrested. A chilling video captured the moment the truck struck the group of dancers and was unable to stop, with the driver, Glass, shouting from his window that he was unable to apply the brakes. Police have launched an investigation and have slapped Glass with multiple charges.
The GMC Denali was towing a float at the Raleigh Christmas Parade when it suddenly struck the girl at a low speed around 10:14 am. However, the girl couldn't be saved despite desperate attempts. Other participants weren't hurt either.
Video shows Glass shouting from his seat that he had lost control of the vehicle while it was carrying a float at the Christmas Parade, according to CBS 17. Witnesses also claimed that the white truck pulling the CC& Co. Dance float lost control.
Dancers in neon green costumes can be seen stumbling around in the area while the truck continued to roll, with the driver unable to stop it.
"They were trying to get us all out of the way," dancer Cheyenne Hamilton, 17, told The News & Observer. "But unfortunately, one of the dancers was not able to get out of the way. They pulled (the dancer) out right in front of us."
The dance company released a statement that read: "We are still in shock as we write these words to you. We also know many of our young ones witnessed this tragedy and that is hard to fathom as well."
People were urged to "please reach out to each other" and "pray for our dance familes" in the statement. "What we do know is our hearts are broken and we must find ways to help each other through this," the statement continued.
"We never expected to experience a day like today, and the only thing getting us through is the tremendous we've seen expressed among our CC & Co. Dance family."
Police have launched an investigation and are trying to determine why the driver was carrying a gun. Glass, of Goode, Virginia, has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, using unsuitable equipment, moving in an unsafe manner, and carrying a pistol during a procession, according to ABC 11.
In another video, onlookers and police officers can be seen rushing to physically stop the fleeing truck as it eventually came to a stop on the highway. The truck was valiantly slowed down by six men bravely jumping in front of it, as shown on film.
At least, 200 members of the dancing group, some of whom were as young as five years old, participated in the march.
One witness told ABC 11 "It was just a lot of chaos, just a lot of cops running, people running...It was crazy. It was traumatizing."
The accident took place at the intersection of Boylan Avenue and Hillsborough Road in Raleigh, North Carolina's capital. Police have ordered locals and passersby to stay away from the area because the crossroads has been shut off indefinitely.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he was "devastated about the tragedy" at the parade.
Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said her heart "aches for the young girl hit in a tragic accident on the parade route."
Baldwin said she is "Praying for her, her family and our community."
The Raleigh Christmas Parade has officially been canceled because of the incident.