STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — A motorist plowed her car into a crowd of spectators Saturday during the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade, killing three people and injuring nearly two dozen others, police said.
Stillwater police Capt. Kyle Gibbs said the woman’s sedan struck an unoccupied motorcycle of an officer who was working security at the parade, then into the crowd. She was taken into custody on a driving under the influence charge, Gibbs said.
Gibbs said three people were killed and 22 were injured in the crash Saturday morning, including eight who were airlifted to hospitals with critical injuries.
Police said Adacia Chambers, 25, was taken into custody on the DUI charge. Her hometown was not released.
“We treat these like we would any homicide investigation,” Gibbs said. “It’ll probably take several days to get additional information as to the cause of the accident”
Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis said there had been discussion about canceling the homecoming game Saturday afternoon against Kansas but that it would be played. The victims were expected to be remembered with a moment of silence.
“I just saw smoke and saw the panic in people’s faces as they ran away from the scene,” said Geoff Haxton, of Tulsa, who attended the parade with his children.
Another spectator, Konda Walker, from Anchorage, Alaska, told the Stillwater News Press that some people initially thought the crash was part of the show.
“People were flying 30 feet into the air like rag dolls,” Walker told the News Press.
Phone calls to Oklahoma State officials were not immediately returned.
The university posted on Twitter: “Oklahoma State University is saddened by the tragic parade incident earlier this morning. Our thoughts & prayers are with those affected.”
It’s not the first tragedy to strike events connected to Oklahoma State spots programs. Ten people, including two OSU men’s basketball players, were killed in a 2001 plane crash while returning from a game in Colorado. And Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna were among four killed in a plane crash in Arkansas in 2011 while on a recruiting trip.
“The families, I know, and these victims will never be able to understand this, nor will we,” Hargis said. “But the Cowboy family pulls together, unfortunately we’ve had to do it before and were going to do it again.”