Police Arrest Suspect, 72, After Truck Strikes 3 People at California Christmas Parade

Katabella Roberts
By Katabella Roberts
December 8, 2023California
Police Arrest Suspect, 72, After Truck Strikes 3 People at California Christmas Parade
Police tape in a file photo. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Three people were injured after a truck plowed into a crowd attending a Christmas parade in Bakersfield, California, on Dec. 7, according to officials.

The driver of the pickup collided with three people at about 5:30 p.m. along the parade route in Bakersfield, roughly 120 miles north of Los Angeles, just as the parade was getting ready to begin, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.

All three of the individuals injured are adults, police said.

They were rushed to a local hospital for care. Police did not provide further information regarding the condition of the individuals in their initial statement but said they had detained the suspect.

“The driver is in custody and the investigation is ongoing,” officials said in a post on X, noting that there is no threat to public safety.

Local media reported that the driver, who has not been identified by police, was parked in an alley when he began backing up his Ford F-150 at a high rate of speed and proceeded to hit the three men without slowing down.

Police suspect the driver had been drinking alcohol and he was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence, The Bakersfield Californian reported.

More Details

In a separate statement shared online by Vice Mayor of Bakersfield Andrae Gonzales, police provided more details regarding the incident, stating that officers had been in the area of 21st Street and H Street where the parade was set to be held when they heard “the sound of a vehicle accelerating.”

Officers then observed a white pickup truck being driven by a 72-year-old man who had “struck three parade spectators.”

Police identified the victims as a 21-year-old male, a 42-year-old male, and a 77-year-old male.

The individuals struck by the vehicle were in a stable condition, police said, although a battalion chief with the Bakersfield Fire Department told local media that one individual was critically hurt and two suffered moderate injuries.

It is not clear if the driver of the vehicle suffered injuries.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Bakersfield Police Department for further comment.

At least three people who saw the man said that he smelled of alcohol, according to the The Bakersfield Californian.

The Bakersfield Police Department is urging anyone with information regarding the incident to get in touch.

Thursday evening’s Christmas parade still went ahead despite the incident, albeit with a short delay after police rerouted the event to Chester Avenue, which is roughly two blocks from where the collision occurred.

The incident comes just over two years after police arrested Darrell Brooks, a Wisconsin man who ran over dozens of people—killing six—during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Mr. Brooks was sentenced to life in prison in November 2022 after being found guilty on all 76 counts stemming from the attack.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times

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