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Loved ones remember victim in horrible deadly accident at Wilton Manors Pride parade

Several members of the Wilton Manors community are remembering the life that was lost in last weekend’s horrible accident prior to a Pride parade.

WILTON MANORS, Fla. – Members of the Wilton Manors community are remembering the life that was lost in last weekend’s horrible accident prior to a Pride parade.

The horrible accident claimed the life of 75-year-old James Fahy, a beloved member of the chorus.

“He was one of these people that was very kind and gentle and quiet,” said Brad Barnes, Live Well Manager at Poverello Center.

Fahy would volunteer at the Poverello Center in Wilton Manors, spending twenty hours a week there.

“He was a volunteer that basically you gave him a task and he just carried its though to the end to make sure that the job was done,” Barnes said.

In fact, just three days before the parade, Fahy got his hair cut at the center, excited about participating in it.

“It’s like the last moment here was getting a simple haircut and how important it was for him to be ready for the weekend,” Barnes said.

When Fahy wasn’t volunteering he spent time with his other family, singing with the chorus, who had just started rehearsing again following the pandemic.

Local 10 News has learned that members of the chorus weren’t even supposed to participate in the Stonewall Pride Parade. They were called five days before and asked to join, so they rented the truck that was driven by 77-year-old Fred Johnson.

Police said Johnson’s foot reportedly slipped and got stuck under the brake pushing down to accelerate. He fatally struck Fahy and injured another member, 67-year-old Jerry Vroegh, just moments before the parade was set to begin.

Those at the Poverello Center actually learned Fahy died on the very day he was supposed to come in and volunteer.

Normally he would volunteer on a Tuesday and that’s the day we found out it was him,” Barnes said. “All around it was a shocking moment for all of us here.”

Wednesday night, a crisis response team was in Wilton Manors at Hagen Park to help those deal with the extremely tough loss.

They privately met with people who are still struggling with what they saw.

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About the Authors:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.

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.