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Local holiday parades adopt new safety rules after Raleigh tragedy

Brian McGowan

Upcoming holiday parades across the Triangle are updating their safety rules after an 11-year-old girl died at Raleigh's Christmas Parade on Nov. 19.

The girl, who was participating in the parade with a dance troupe, was hit by a white pickup truck that lost control of its brakes while towing a float. The girl died at the hospital from her injuries.

Consequently, vehicles participating in parades in Cary and Durhamwill be inspected in the days leading up to the event or on the day of; in Knightdale, drivers must show an up-to-date vehicle inspection.

"The safety of parade participants, volunteers, and spectators are Durham Parks and Recreation’s top priority," city spokesperson Amy Blalock said in a statement. "Our hearts are with the victim, her family and friends who have endured an unthinkable loss, as well as our sister city of Raleigh."

Other new protocols include not throwing candy to spectators in order to keep people off the road. Additionally, participants walking in the parade will walk to the side of floats instead of directly in front of them.

The driver who hit the victim, Landen Glass, 20, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, using improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade. Glass was released on a $4,000 bond and is due back in court on Jan. 26.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Celeste Gracia covers the environment for WUNC. She has been at the station since September 2019 and started off as morning producer.
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