A suspected drunk driver has killed four people, including a two-year-old boy, and injured 44 after a car ploughed into spectators at a university parade.
Witnesses report bystanders flying through the air “like rag dolls” as the Hyundai Elantra drove into the crowd during the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade on Saturday morning.
The driver, Adacia Chambers, has been arrested for driving under the influence.
The 25-year-old Stillwater resident had attended the annual festivities, which welcome alumni back to the college with a parade and sports games, with family members the night before.
Her shocked father, Floyd Chambers, said he struggled to believe his “timid” daughter was involved and denied she is an alcoholic.
"This is just not who she is. They're going to paint her into a horrible person but this is not (her)," he told the Oklahoman newspaper.
Police are awaiting the results of blood tests and warned it will take several days to determine the cause of the horror crash.
Chambers’s car hit an unoccupied police motorcycle before careering into the cheering throng.
Spectator Konda Walker, from Anchorage, Alaska, told the Stillwater News Press that some people initially thought the crash was part of the show.
She said: "People were flying 30 feet into the air like rag dolls."
Geoff Haxton, of Tulsa, who attended the parade with his children, said: "I just saw smoke and saw the panic in people's faces as they ran away from the scene."
Five children and three adults remain in hospital.
A homecoming football game between the university and Kansas went ahead as scheduled on Saturday afternoon, just hours after the crash.
Hundreds of fans wearing the school's bright orange and black colours were forced to walk by the crash site as they headed to the game.
Some lingered to look at the aftermath - water bottles, blankets, lawn chairs and other items strewn over the road. The grey car with a smashed side and shattered windscreen and a crumpled motorbike remained there.
Some bodies were still at the location - less than three streets away from the stadium – as the football game kicked off. National Guard troops kept watch as Red Cross officials and state medical examiner's office continued their work.
The university posted on Twitter: "Oklahoma State University is saddened by the tragic parade incident earlier this morning. Our thoughts & prayers are with those affected."
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