Girl dies in Raleigh Christmas Parade tragedy: What went wrong?
First, the girl’s family and her dance troupe are dealing with her loss of her. Second, the 20-year-old driver charged in the fatal crash, Landon Christopher Glass, will have to live with the fateful time his pickup truck drove into a dance party and unfortunately struck and killed one of them.
But one question still remains: What went wrong?
According to the police report, the brakes on his car were not working properly and Christopher Glass told investigators that he had recently worked on his car’s brakes. The same report shows that Glass was cited on Oct. 30 for numerous traffic violations, including failure to inspect his vehicle.
WRL Investigates later confirmed that the truck cited for the traffic violation was the same vehicle involved in the parade tragedy. It is unclear whether the truck received the required safety inspection after the traffic stop and before participating in the parade.
Saturday’s Christmas Parade Tragedy Crossroads Auto Service mechanics conduct inspections and keep a close eye on their work.
“It’s a crazy situation. I can only imagine what he’s going through because he knows he has no control over the situation,” said store owner Marcus Best.
Best thinks not only of the dead girl but also of Glass because Glass now faces five charges. This includes wrongful death by motor vehicle.
A lot can go wrong, according to Best. “The brakes are very complicated,” he said.
Contaminated or leaking brake lines from pad or rotor failure, combined with the weight of the trailer, can put the truck at risk.
Investigating Glass found that in recent years, Virginia had failed to perform vehicle inspections that resulted in Glass being cited four times, but only one of those citations occurred after purchasing a 2011 GMC Denali involved in the parade.
WRL investigators believe that Virginia’s brake inspection is more important than North Carolina’s. Mechanics must check for damaged or missing parts, defective linings and drums, fluid leaks, and contaminated pads and rotors.
Best says inspection is everything and can’t catch anything that could go wrong, but inspection, maintenance and experience tell all.
“Unfortunately this situation taught us all a lesson to be a little more prepared,” Best said.
Witnesses told WRAL Investigates that the driver realized something was wrong so was yelling to alert the group of dancers. But it’s unclear whether he took any other steps to stop the truck, including putting it in neutral or risking applying the parking brake with a float of parade participants behind him.
Glass’ court date is scheduled to take place on Jan. 26, 2023.