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Horrified attendees at a Christmas parade in Alabama may have thought they were witnessing Waukesha 2.0 on Tuesday evening.
In dramatic video of the incident shared by NBC Birmingham affiliate WVTM, a motorist appeared to head in the direction of or drive through the parade route in what is being described as a near-miss scenario.
Screaming can be heard from the crowd when they see the wrong-way vehicle approaching the police-led procession, and one witness, perhaps representative of others on the scene, purportedly said “Oh my God. Jesus Christ. Another one?”
Another person said, “Hey, hey, hey — stop.” Someone else remarked that “they should stop the band.”
The incident in which fortunately no one was harmed occurred in Hayden, Ala., located about 31 miles north of Birmingham, in Blount County.
Hayden Police Chief James Chapman took to Facebook to update the community about the aftermath of the potentially calamitous incident.
“To all of those that were in attendance at the Christmas parade tonight, if there is anyone who would like to make a police report for reckless endangerment needs to contact Hayden PD and we will get this process started. I am thankful that no one was injured by this person. The Hayden Police Dept has arrested this subject and initiated criminal and traffic charges. Thank you to all that assisted!,” Chapman wrote on the social media platform.
In a pre-parade Facebook message, the town and the local PD noted that “Highway 160 will close at 6:50 pm for the duration of the parade…Police and fire units will be riding Highway 160 with emergency lights on to slow traffic down so you can get in a spot safely to view the parade.”
The suspect in the above-referenced Waukesha, Wisc., incident faces homicide charges after allegedly driving his SUV into a suburban Milwaukee Christmas parade, killing six persons and injuring about 60 on November 21.
‘Jail is not the answer’: Waukesha suspect’s mom believes lack of mental health services is to blame https://t.co/VfZ5M8yrzQ
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) December 2, 2021
In the Hayden incident which luckily did not have a tragic outcome, police have reportedly filed multiple charges against a 45-year-old minivan motorist, ABC Birmingham affiliate WBMA reported:
According to Hayden Police Chief James Chapman, Tony Nix had been parked on the side of Hwy 160 to watch the Christmas Parade before the incident.
Witnesses told authorities that Nix appeared to become upset about something not related to the parade just before jumping into his vehicle and driving through the parade.
Several officers attempted to stop Nix as he narrowly missed multiple parade participants and people along the parade route. Several people had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.
Nix is currently charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and attempting to elude, but authorities say more charges could be filed as the investigation continues.
Any suspect who police take into custody is presumed innocent unless or until a case is adjudicated in a court of law.
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