Loved ones of Wilton Manors parade accident victims remain in shock

Friends and family of 75-year-old Jim Fahy say they’re still in utter disbelief.

WILTON MANORS, Fla. – Friends and family of 75-year-old Jim Fahy say they’re still in utter disbelief.

“He took care of my husband with Alzheimer’s for four years, anytime I needed him he was there,” said close friend Richard Cesa. “He took care of anybody in the neighborhood that had to go to the doctor or needed (anything). He worked at the food bank

“He’s going to be greatly missed. Greatly missed.”

Fahy was killed and another man, identified as 67-year-old Jerry Vroegh, was seriously injured after being run over by a white pickup truck as they got ready to march in the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade on Saturday.

Behind the wheel was 77-year-old Fred Johnson.

All were members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus that was taking part in the parade.

Fellow Chorus member Bradley Bush was there, feet away from the truck.

“He’s a loving, caring, wonderful man, wouldn’t even hurt a fly and in talking to him, he is absolutely beside himself,” Bush said of Johnson. “It kind of plays out in my head in slow motion, like it didn’t really happen and it’s surreal.”

Investigators have determined that the deadly crash was accidental.

The driver, who ended up plowing through the crowd and crashing into a plant nursery, sent out a statement, saying:

“This was a horrible accident and I offer my sincere regrets to all those who were impacted by this tragic event. I love my Chorus family and the community and would never do anything to intentionally harm anyone. Please know that I hold my fellow Chorus member, Jim Fahy, in my heart forever and offer my condolences to his friends and family.”

Monday, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who initially reacted by calling the collision an act of terror, spoke to Local 10 News.

He was asked, “Do you think anyone is owed an apology for anything that was said on Saturday?”

“Let’s focus on what really happened and what happened is someone was killed,” Trantalis responded. “The apology needs to come from the person who perpetrated this act…We need to find out what happened here, how this truck ran amuck through the crowd.”


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About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.