Tragedy at the Raleigh Christmas Parade


The Raleigh Christmas Parade transformed from a testament to the holiday spirit into tragedy when an out-of-control truck hit a young dancer. The eleven-year-old victim was performing with CC & Co. Dance Company, who also sponsored the float attached to the truck. The girl didn’t survive the accident.

The parade went from celebratory to horrific in mere seconds. The News & Observer reports that fellow dancers and families gathered at the Hillyer Memorial Christian Church to mourn while still wearing their colorful dance studio shirts.  

RPD arrested 20-year-old Landen Glass for misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, improper equipment, unsafe movement, and carrying a firearm in a parade. Glass previously had four tickets for failures to have his vehicle inspected, along with more two for improper exhaust systems and no marker lights. His brakes likely gave out during the parade. According to WRAL, Glass will not make a statement about the incident. 

WRAL also shares witness stories about the event, with one describing the event as “traumatizing.” The witness explained the shift from celebration to confusion to panic as festive music drowned out Glass’s frantic honking. Though the victim was the only person hit, other dancers were mere inches away from a similar tragedy. 

“It was horrific, really,” shares GLHS sophomore Aanshi Shah. “We’d gone there to celebrate Christmas, but what happened was something none of us could expect.”

Several bystanders attempted to stop the car and help the girl, but their efforts were in vain. Local politicians shared their feelings about the event, and the dance troupe found support in their local community. A small memorial has formed in downtown Raleigh; we all mourn the accident and its horrific effects.