NC City Denies Christmas Parade Permit After Girl’s Death Last Year

September 18, 2023

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials in North Carolina have denied a permit for a Christmas parade after a truck towing a float struck and killed a girl during last year’s event.

The city of Raleigh announced Thursday that it denied the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association’s request for a permit for the Raleigh Christmas Parade, news outlets reported.

“The decision was made out of an abundance of caution for parade participants and spectators, as well as respect for Hailey Brooks’ family and friends,” according to a city statement.

Hailey Brooks, 11, was killed during last year’s parade when she was hit by a pickup truck towing a float after the driver lost control. Landen Glass, then 20, was initially charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade. In March, a grand jury elevated his charges to felony involuntary manslaughter.

The Brooks family was not consulted and they oppose the decision to deny the parade permit, according to attorney Jason Miller.

“The Brooks family is disappointed that the city of Raleigh chose to cancel its 2023 Raleigh Christmas Parade rather than adopt basic safety measures to protect the community,” Miller said.

The merchants association is saddened by the decision, Executive Director Jennifer Martin said.

“The parade has been a Raleigh tradition for 78 years that brings the community together and provides joy to hundreds of thousands and allows families near and far to make countless memories,” she said in a statement. The association is “ready, willing and able to continue this tradition” as soon as the city of Raleigh “allows it to return,” Martin said.