A convertible carrying the grand marshal in today's Anchorage gay Pridefest parade struck and killed a pedestrian just as the downtown parade was to begin, police say.
Police late Saturday identified the victim as 50-year-old James L. Crump of Anchorage. Crump worked as a nurse for the city's Health and Human Services department, police said.
The 1971 Triumph Stag convertible was traveling at a low speed when it hit and dragged the man, police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said.
Police said the driver was Edith Bailey, 70, of Eagle River.
Grand Marshal Doug Frank said he was riding in the black convertible when the driver had trouble with the car's accelerator. It lurched forward, Frank said.
"It ran over a person, totally over," he said, sobbing. "This went from one of the best days of my life to the worst."
I just heard about this a few minutes ago.
This is a terribly sad end to a day that is usual full of wonderful music, imaginative floats, and amazing performers.
My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Crump and to ALL of the witnesses to this horrific event.
I have recently attended several plays at Mad Myrna's, our local gay club and theatre company, and I have come to know several members of the LGBT community. I know this will have a devastating effect on them and I wish to extend my sincerest condolences.