/11-year-old Hailey Brooks killed at Raleigh Christmas Parade, multiple sources confirm to WRAL News

11-year-old Hailey Brooks killed at Raleigh Christmas Parade, multiple sources confirm to WRAL News

RALEIGH, N.C. — WRAL News has learned 11-year-old Hailey Brooks died after getting hit by a pickup truck during this past weekend’s Raleigh Christmas Parade, according to multiple sources.

Hailey Brooks was dancing in Saturday’s parade with CC & Company Dance Complex. She was struck and killed by an out-of-control pickup truck.

Memorials grew Monday as the Raleigh community mourns Brooks.

The memorial along Hillsborough Street near Boylan Avenue near where the crash occurred said, “‘Hailey’, dancing in the arms of Jesus!”

Also, there is a memorial outside CC & Company Dance Complex off Six Forks Road. The dance studio is closed this week.

Driver facing five charges had multiple vehicle inspection citations

The driver in Saturday’s Raleigh Christmas Parade crash that killed an 11-year-old girl had multiple tickets for vehicle violations.

Virginia court records show 20-year-old Landen Christopher Glass had a number of non-moving violation tickets on his record, including four tickets for failure to have a vehicle inspected, with the most recent on Oct. 30.

Other tickets included improper exhaust systems and no marker lights. The online records do not specify what vehicle Glass received these tickets for.

After the crash Saturday, the Raleigh Police Department arrested and charged Glass with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless, improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade.

A family member told WRAL News that Glass will not be making a statement. Glass was released on bond and carries a first court date of Jan. 26.

Posts on Glass’s Instagram profile showed him participating in dance competitions representing CC & Company Dance Complex in 2018. It is not known in what capacity he is affiliated with the company as of 2022.

His social media pages also indicate that he owned a vehicle customization company and spent a lot of time working on his pickup truck.

A tragedy at the Raleigh Christmas Parade

An out-of-control pickup truck pulling a parade float hit Brooks while she performed with CC & Company Dance Complex, a group that has performed in the parade in the past.

Brooks was taken to the hospital, where she was declared dead.

Video taken from the scene shows the truck as it began to lose control, gaining speed as it blared its horn. Some people scattered out of its way, while others raced towards the truck, trying to stop it from running into the parade patrons ahead of it.

Witnesses told WRAL News the driver of the white pickup truck pulling the CC & Co. Dance float was yelling that he had lost his brakes and could not stop. The truck then careened into the dancers as adults hustled them out of the road.

“All of a sudden we looked up and saw a truck on the other side of the road kind of coming towards us,” said Worth Creech, an eyewitness. “They were able to get most of the girls out of the way. Unfortunately, we saw one of the girls get run over.”

She said the truck was on a decline, seemingly pushed downhill by the weight of the float behind it.

Deena Francia was attending Saturday’s parade. She didn’t see the crash happen, but was sitting nearby.

“We were all here having a good time getting ready to celebrate the holiday then it happened,” Francia said.

On Monday, Francia put flowers at the growing memorial along Hillsborough Street.

“I just felt compelled,” Francia said. “I was hear with my grandchildren and [the girl who died] was 11. My granddaughter is 10.”

Tajes Kakade saw everything unfold along the parade route.

“It was a difficult thing to see,” Kakade said. “It sticks with you.”

Kakade explained what she’ll remember.

“Many moments have been replaying,” Kakade said. “One is seeing what happened to the girl in front of us.”

On Monday, Kakade also stopped by the memorial along Hillsborough Street.

“We came out here to get some closure,” Kakade said.

Float company owner: ‘It’s a miracle that more people weren’t hurt or killed’

Franklinton-based Triangle Float Company had 37 floats in Saturday’s parade. While owner Mark Harris’ float was not involved in Saturday’s incident, he said said his company is one of two that participated in the parade.

Harris doesn’t believe there is any amount of regulation that can prevent all tragedies. He does not want to denigrate the other company because he says it could’ve happened to him.

“I think it really is a miracle that more people weren’t hurt or killed,” Harris said.

However, Harris oversees his company’s vehicles and drivers. He hires them, makes sure they are licensed and that their vehicles are registered and inspected.

“These are just family businesses, they’re not moneymakers,” Harris said. “They’re really just people who are trying to spread some joy.”

The other float company involved in the crash is still unnamed as of Monday afternoon.

Harris emphasized that the most important thing for the community to do is support the people hurt by Saturday’s incident.

Auto service owner discusses what could have gone wrong with the truck

On Monday, WRAL Investigates spoke with Crossroads Auto Service owner Marcus Best about what could have gone wrong with the truck.

Best said brakes are complicated and anything from pads to drums or calipers can fail, brakes lines can be contaminated or leak. While proper maintenance is crucial, inspections are not foolproof. Until more is known about Saturday’s incident, Best said he sees it as a horrible accident.

“My heart just goes out to the family because I can only imagine what they’re going through,” Best said.