By: Ana F.
A homecoming parade at Oklahoma State University turned tragic when a driver suspected to be under the influence drove through a barricade and into a crowd injuring many. The driver of the sedan, 25 year-old Adacia Chambers, was arrested on DUI charges and taken into custody by the authorities of Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Captain Kyle Gibbs of the Stillwater police department said that Chambers drove her 2014 Hyundai Elantra into an unoccupied police motorcycle of an officer who was working security at the parade and then into the parade. “We treat these like we would any homicide investigation,” Captain Kyle Gibbs explained. “It’ll probably take several days to get additional information as to the cause of the accident.” Authorities are not sure if the crash was intentional or not and do not believe Chambers, who is from Stillwater, is a student.
Police didn’t initially release information about the three people killed on scene, which happened around 10:30 a.m. ET. At least 8 were critically injured, with 9 others seriously hurt. 17 were reported to have lesser injuries, but a spokesperson from the Stillwater Hospital reported that about 50 people, from ages 2 to 86, were initially brought there. Of those patients, four were flown to an OSU Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and a spokesperson from the Hospital said five children and three adults were being treated there as of Saturday afternoon. A two-year old died Saturday evening from injuries related to the crash in hospital.
“I can’t describe it any more clearly than this: People flying through the air,” OSU graduate Paul Sims says of the accident. Other witnesses explain the scene from farther away. “All there was was smoke and panic. Half the emergency personnel in the county were here,” Geoff Haxton said.” People were running. My first instinct was to get my kids away from the street.”
After careful deliberation, authorities decided to let the homecoming football game start. Officials debated postponing the game but let it go in honour of those killed in the crash. It started off with a moment of silence for the dead and the US flag was lowered to half-mast at Boone Pickens Stadium. After running on the field, most of the Oklahoma players knelt in prayers by the sidelines.
The day ended with a simple tweet from Oklahoma State University. “Oklahoma State University is saddened by the tragic parade incident earlier this morning. Our thoughts & prayers are with those affected.”