New York: A young Indian student was among four killed when a car being driven by a suspected drunk driver crashed into a large crowd near the US city of Oklahoma.
Nikita Nakal of Mumbai was identified as among the victims of the accident yesterday by University of Central Oklahoma President Don Betz.
In a statement posted on the university website, Betz expressed condolences to the family of Nakal.
“While our thoughts and prayers are with the Oklahoma State University (OSU) community tonight 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. Among those killed was a two-year-old boy.
Over 40 people were injured in the crash.
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 45 and 50 mph (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.
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