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The Raleigh Christmas Parade was cut short Saturday when a young girl was struck and killed by a truck towing a float.

It happened at around 10:25 am local time, according to reports by WRAL and WNCN. The parade was paused at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Boylan Avenue as police and medics rushed to the scene. A pickup truck towing a float for CC & Co. Dance Complex, a dance school in Raleigh, lost control. Video of the scene showed the truck as it gained speed along the parade route, with the driver blaring the horn to get people out of the way. Some folks scattered, while others raced towards the truck, and tried to stop it.

“The girls kept dancing, and then very quickly parted as the truck moved through them,” said one eyewitness.  “There were more dancers beyond this group. We were all, I think, wondering if it was part of the parade. Perhaps [the truck] picked up a little bit of speed and it kept honking, and then there was quite a bit more chaos. Everyone started to look confused. I do not know, perhaps the fire engine and other first responders helped stop the truck. I am not clear whether or not someone was hit on the ground.”

Unfortunately, the truck hit a young female dancer with CC & Co. One bystander saw the girl on the ground with a blanket covering her. She was immediately rushed to the hospital, where she sadly succumbed to her injuries. The girl’s identity has not been released.

In a statement, CC & Co. Dance Complex said in part, “We never expected to experience a day like today, and the only thing getting us through is the tremendous love and support we’ve seen expressed among our CC & Co. Dance family.”

Raleigh police said the operator of the vehicle was interviewed, cooperated with detectives, and was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless, improper equipment, unsafe movement, and carrying a firearm in a parade.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin has issued a brief statement on today’s tragic event. “Today started with such joy. The parade route was packed with smiling kids and it made my heart so happy to see. Now we are all devastated by the news of this tragic accident and praying for the victim and her family. It is heartbreaking.”