Drunk Driver Crashes Vehicle Into Parade Crowd

Author / Mark Breen
26 Feb ‘17
Children as young as three or four years of age were injured in this tragic crash. Police chief Michael Harrison confirmed that one person was in custody. He also stated “We suspect that the subject was highly intoxicated."

The incident

The video below shows the aftermath of the crash.

The incident took place around 6.42pm as people were gathered on a central median in the road to enjoy the parade.

The 25 year old driver, Neilson Rizzuto, has been charged with two counts of first-degree vehicular negligence resulting in injury, and 1 count each of reckless operation and hit-and-run driving. It seems he may face even more charges.

Thankfully, reports indicate that none of those injured were left with life-threatening injuries.

The learning

For me, this incident brings into stark focus, once again, the danger that vehicles pose to crowds at events. If the driver was drunk in this particular case then that exists as a contributory factor to the accident, clearly. 

To focus on the risk posed by vehicles though it's worth considering:

  1. Vehicular attacks executed as acts of terror are a risk we must consider when planning events
  2. Incidents such as this one, where it's a tragic accident (albeit, one potentially down to a bad choice made by one person to drink and drive) are also a realistic risk

Accidents happen and sometimes bad people plan and make bad things happen. The thing is, the accidents are still probably more common than acts of terrorism.

The bottom line

It's important that, as event planners, we don't get caught up in the most recent high-profile risk and that we keep our eye on all realistic risks to our crowds.

We're working with a number of clients currently on emergency & contingency planning that will include mitigation against vehicle attacks, be they intentional or accidental.