Commodities: Four Dead in Crash at Oklahoma State University Homecoming Event — 9th Update

By Miguel Bustillo And Tamara Audi 
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The death of a 2-year-old boy late Saturday afternoon raised the death toll to four, after a driver crashed into Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade Saturday morning.

Forty-four others were injured when an allegedly intoxicated driver barreled into the crowd.

Hospital officials said late Saturday afternoon that a 2-year-old child had died as a result of injuries sustained during the crash. The child, who wasn’t identified by name or gender, was transported to The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center along with seven other patients who suffered injuries. Four children and three adults remain hospitalized, according to OU Medical Center officials in Oklahoma City.

Wounded people were also taken to Stillwater Medical Center. Authorities said they feared that the death toll could rise.

The incident occurred around 10:30 a.m. in Stillwater, Okla., when a car traveling at a high rate of speed struck a parked police motorcycle and slammed through a crowd of people watching the parade at the intersection of Main Street and Hall of Fame Avenue, sending some spectators hurling through the air before finally crashing to a halt, according to authorities.

“We are heartbroken by this tragedy,” Stillwater Mayor Gina Noble said in a news conference Saturday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those that died and were injured.”

The driver was identified by authorities as Adacia Chambers, 25, of Stillwater. She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and was being held in jail, said Stillwater Police Capt. Kyle Gibbs. She wasn’t believed to be a student at the university, which has more than 25,000 students, officials said. “We treat this as we would any homicide investigation,” Capt. Gibbs said, adding, “We’ll never fully understand.”

It wasn’t clear if Ms. Chambers had legal representation.

Ms. Chambers’s father, Floyd Chambers, told The Oklahoman newspaper that he was shocked to learn, through social media, of his daughter’s arrest in the incident.

“I can’t figure this out,” Mr. Chambers told the paper. “This is not the person that’s my daughter…I can’t imagine alcohol being involved. She is not an alcoholic that I’m aware of. This is just not who she is.”

Television footage of the crash scene Saturday morning showed a scene of carnage, with emergency personnel tending to wounded people wearing the familiar orange and black colors of the university who were strewed all over the street.

Eyewitnesses said the car, a Hyundai Elantra, went through a barricade and struck many people, including children. Police didn’t release the names or ages of the victims. Police were asking witnesses to come forward, especially anyone with video footage of the crash.

“At first we thought it was part of the show,” Konda Walker, a 1991 Oklahoma State alum, told the local newspaper, the Stillwater News Press. “People were flying 30 feet into the air like rag dolls.”

Authorities credited emergency responders with quickly treating wounded spectators and hopefully helping to save lives. The responders included National Guard personnel and firefighters from two firetrucks who were part of the homecoming parade.

“They immediately began providing emergency first response,” said Stillwater Fire Chief Tom Bradley.

Oklahoma State President V. Burns Hargis said the university had decided to go forward with its scheduled football game against the University of Kansas Saturday afternoon. Oklahoma State won the game, 58-10.

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