Wilton Manor Pride Crash Driver, Victims Identified by Police

Police have named the driver and the victims of the crash at a Pride parade in South Florida over the weekend.

One person died and two others were injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd of people at the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade on Saturday. Police have also confirmed the incident was an accident rather than a targeted attack on the LGBT community.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said in a statement to Newsweek that the man killed in the accident was James Fahy, 75. The injured pedestrians have been identified as Jerry Vroegh, 67, and 69-year-old Gary Keating.

Vroegh has since been discharged from Broward Health Medical Center, with Keating only suffering minor injuries.

The driver of the 2011 white Dodge Ram has been identified as 77-year-old Fred Johnson Jr.

Police said Johnson was a participant in the parade. Ailments prevented him from walking the duration of the parade and he was selected to drive as the lead vehicle.

As his vehicle began to move forward in anticipation of the start of the parade, it accelerated unexpectedly, striking the victims before crashing into a fence.

Johnson and the victims were all part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus family.

"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," the chorus, which consists of mainly older men, said.

No arrests have been made and Fort Lauderdale Police are continuing to investigate the "terrible accident."

In a June 20 statement, Wilton Manors Chief of Police Gary Blocker said: "The Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation collaborated in investigating this incident with a goal of understanding the totality of the circumstances, and to identify if this was an accident, or an intentional act.

"Today we know yesterday's incident was a tragic accident, and not a criminal act directed at anyone, or any group of individuals. We thank our community for your patience as investigators worked diligently to examine this incident to uncover the facts of this case, and to provide answers to those involved, and to our community.

"As always, our Island City Community will come together to support each other during this time of somberness, and time of challenge, and together we will get through this. This is why our Island City Community is so special."

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who is gay, said he regrets originally calling the incident "clearly a terrorist act" against the LGBT community in its aftermath.

"I regret the fact that I said it was a terrorist attack because we found that it was not, but I don't regret my feelings," Trantalis said at a vigil held on Sunday for the victims.

"I don't regret that I felt terrorized by someone who plowed through the crowd."

Wilton Manors victims
Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade on June 19, 2021 in Wilton Manors, Florida. Jason Koerner/Getty Images