Oklahoma State homecoming crash: Many children, infants hurt – CNN
‘I flew over some strollers’
Eleven of those treated for injuries were aged 13 and below including a 1-year-old, 3-year-old and four 6-year-olds, Stillwater police said.
Student Kailey Carter told CNN affiliate KJRH she was among those struck and described being thrown over baby strollers at the scene.
“I just saw something black coming at us. I didn’t know what it was at first, so I just got up and ran,” Carter said. “The car hit me as it was stopping, and then I flew over some strollers.”
“My roommate was like ‘do not look, do not look’ because they were putting bags over people, and she was like ‘you don’t want to look there.’ It was just really scary,” said Carter.
The president of the University of Central Oklahoma said one of the people killed was Nikita Nakal, an MBA student from Mumbai, India. Police named a victim as Nakita Prabhakar.
“While our thoughts and prayers are with the Oklahoma State University community tonight following the tragic events during OSU’s homecoming parade this morning, it is with deep sadness that I ask you to extend those sentiments to the family and friends of one of our own students,” wrote President Don Betz. “Our students come to Central with their unique goals, hopes and dreams, and Nikita was undoubtedly no different.”
Gibbs said Saturday the car’s driver, Adacia Avery Chambers of Stillwater, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence and taken to the city jail. She is not believed to be an OSU student, he said.
According to a police statement, Chambers drove her 2014 Hyundai Elantra into an unmanned police motorcycle before careening into the crowd of spectators.
When asked by a reporter whether the 25-year-old Chambers was “obviously intoxicated,” Gibbs said, “Certainly probable cause for the arrest, yes sir.”
Gibbs said that Oklahoma state law mandates blood tests for any “serious fatality accident.” The results of those tests won’t be known for several days, he said.
The deadly crash occurred at 10:31 a.m. local time (11:31 a.m. ET), just hours before the school’s centerpiece homecoming event — a football game between the nationally ranked, undefeated OSU Cowboys and the University of Kansas — and only two blocks from the soon-to-be jam packed 50,000-person Boone Pickens Stadium.
‘People flying in the air’
The festive scene turned into one of horror, one the university president called a “horrible tragedy.”
“We are shocked and heartbroken by this horrible tragedy,” said President V. Burns Hargis. “The Oklahoma State University Homecoming parade is the most wholesome of events and to have it marred in such a way is incomprehensible.”
“I can’t describe it any more clearly than this: People flying in the air,” OSU graduate student Paul Sims said of the moment of impact.
Another witness, Geoff Haxton, said he was about 100 yards from the crash site.
“All there was was smoke and panic. Half the emergency personnel in the county were here,” Haxton said. “People were running. (My) first instinct was to get my kids away from the street.”
Two Stillwater Fire Department vehicles participating in the parade were among the scene’s first responders, according to Tom Bradley, the city’s fire chief.
Game goes on
After careful deliberation, officials decided to let the football game proceed, Hargis said.
Before the game, the OSU football team knelt in solemn prayer at the 25-yard line.
Fox Sports sportscaster Tim Brando described the pregame atmosphere as “the kind of somber feeling” that he’d never had before.