Indian student among 4 killed in US homecoming parade crash

Four persons, including a young Indian student, have been killed and over 40 others injured in a horrific car crash when a suspected drunk woman driver ploughed into a large crowd during a US varsity’s homecoming parade.

Homecoming parade crash

Three adults were pronounced dead at the scene, while the fourth victim, a two-year-old boy, died from his injuries at a hospital, according to a Stillwater police statement.

Nikita Nakal of Mumbai was identified as among the victims of the accident yesterday by University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) President Don Betz.

Authorities identified the driver as 25-year-old Adacia Avery Chambers, who was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Chambers drove through barricades set up for the Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade before she crashed into the crowd, police said.

She first hit a police officer’s motorcycle and then rammed her car into the parade-goers packed on a street corner.

Megan Lantz of Ponca City, Oklahoma, told the Oklahoman newspaper that about 100 people were standing on the corner at the time the car, going between 72-80 kph, struck the crowd.

Mayor Gina Noble and Stillwater City Council said, “we are heartbroken about the tragedy, and our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who died and are injured.” Police said eight people are in critical condition, nine have serious injuries and another 17 people have less serious injuries as a result of the crash.

Some of the victims are children, authorities said.

In a statement posted on the University of Central Oklahoma website, Betz expressed condolences to the family of Nakal.

“While our thoughts and prayers are with the Oklahoma State University (OSU) community….following the tragic events during OSU’s homecoming parade this morning, it is with deep sadness that I ask you to extend those sentiments to the family and friends of one of our own students.

“Nikita Nakal of Mumbai, India, an MBA student at UCO, was among those who died,” he said in the statement.

He added that students come to Central Oklahoma university with their unique goals, hopes and dreams, and “Nikita was undoubtedly no different. While we mourn the potential unrealised, let us also honour her life by pulling closer and appreciating the strength of our Broncho family.” He said the university plans to honour Nakal soon.