ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Driver error likely was the reason for why a man was run over and killed during a gay pride parade in downtown Anchorage, according to police investigating the accident.
James L. Crump, 50, was killed during the city’s PrideFest parade when he was run over by a car driven by Edith Bailey, a 70-year-old Eagle River woman. The car was carrying the parade grand marshal, Doug Frank.
Traffic Sgt. Justin Doll told The Anchorage Daily News that the investigation into the crash should wrap up this week, but he said it looks like operator error is to blame. The investigation also is looking into any mechanical problems the car may have had when Crump, a nurse for the city’s Health and Human Services Department, was run over just as the parade was getting under way Saturday.
Frank said it appeared that Bailey had trouble with the car’s accelerator during the slow-moving parade. The vehicle lurched forward and Crump was dragged along. Frank said parade participants had been told to walk close to the 1971 Triumph Stag convertible.
The Daily News spoke briefly with Bailey, a longtime ally of Alaska’s gay and lesbian community, by phone on Sunday. She was too distraught to talk at length but said the car belonged to someone else and she was driving it because she was asked to. She said the car is an automatic.
The annual parade is part of a week-long celebration to promote equality for gay, lesbian and transgendered Alaskans. The parade was immediately canceled after the fatal accident occurred.