A homecoming parade car wreck at Oklahoma State University ended in a terrible tragedy with multiple losses of life, according to multiple media reports. This story is being reported on by all the major news outlets at a national level. Homecoming at a college or university like Oklahoma State by all accounts is a fun, festive, and family-oriented time for alumni and students and families to gather to celebrate their beloved university. But apparently a driver of a vehicle ran into a parade causing numerous people to suffer personal injury and at least four people died t this homecoming parade. It has been reported that among the dead is a two year old child. This is such a needless, tragic, horrific, senseless mass injury accident.
I have seen reports that a lawyer who is ostensibly representing the driver has said that the driver may have suffered from a mental illness, but that the driver was not intoxicated. Authorities have upgraded the charges to some degree of murder.
How could this awful tragedy been avoided, if at all? This is not the first time that a car has driven into a crowd of people killing many. Certainly some acts by drivers are so intentional that nothing could have prevented a mass accident. Other times there may have been barriers or other types of guards, including law enforcement and closed streets that maybe could have prevented the accident.
While I have not read detailed media reports about the accident, so I do not know all the specific details, there are some questions that do come to mind. First, how was the driver of a car able to get so close to a pedestrian parade? Was there adequate street closure, law enforcement presence, and other man made barriers? Another question that comes to mind is was there proper planning done by the authorities that could have prevented this awful occurrence. Was there route selection done with safety in mind? Another question may be were the curbs high enough to provide some sort of barrier that would prevent the vehicle from running into a sidewalk? There are engineering and road standards for sidewalks in urban streets that are designed to provide some re-directional capabilities of vehicles hitting a curb.
I have heard of these types of mass victim car accident occurring in other cities. Some times it is when a car drives onto a sidewalk running into and over pedestrian on the sidewalk. There are drivers who suffer heart attacks and other sudden medical events that cause loos of vehicular control. I have heard of other incidents involving elderly drivers losing control of vehicles and running up on to sidewalks, killing and injuring pedestrians.
This homecoming parade car wreck at Oklahoma State University is a tragedy and hopefully the university and other governmental authorities can determine what happened to cause such tragic loss of life.