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VIDEO: SUV barrels through Native American parade; 15 injured

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In a statement, New Mexico State Police said that investigators haven’t any reason to suspect the crime was motivated by hate. Nobody was killed.

A woman is treated for shock close to the intersection of South Second Street and Historic Highway 66 after an SUV careened through the parade route of the Intertribal Ceremonial Centennial Celebration in Gallup, New Mexico, Thursday, Aug. 4. 2022. Police arrested several individuals who were in a big SUV that drove by way of a Native American celebration in New Mexico, causing multiple injuries along a parade route crowded with families. William C. Weaver IV/Gallup Independent via AP

By FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press

A FRESH Mexico man who was simply driving drunk with out a valid license barreled by way of a parade that celebrates Native American culture in the western portion of the state, injuring at the very least 15 people, officials said Friday.

Jeff Irving, 33, was arrested late Thursday and faces charges offering aggravated driving while intoxicated, fleeing from officers and injuring parade-goers and two Gallup cops who tried to avoid the vehicle, court papers said.

In a statement, New Mexico State Police said that investigators haven’t any reason to suspect the crime was motivated by hate. Nobody was killed. Individuals who have been hurt, like the cops, suffered mostly minor injuries, said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and his family were the type of almost hit because the Chevrolet Tahoe drove through the parade route. The automobile sped through downtown Gallup about 15 minutes following the nighttime parade started that served because the kick-off event for the 10-day Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial Centennial Celebration.

Irvings blood-alcohol content was 3 x the legal limit for driving, in accordance with court public records. His license have been revoked or suspended for another drunken driving charge and the SUV had no registration or insurance, police said.

Court public records didnt list a lawyer for Irving who could speak on his behalf. His two passengers were detained and taken up to a detox center in Gallup, a city around 22,000 people, state police said in the statement.

Many on the list of crowd of thousands lining the parade route before businesses that sell Native American jewelry, arts, and crafts captured the chaotic scene on video.

Because the SUV sped close to the parade, videos on social media marketing showed people yelling for others to obtain taken care of plus some pushing parade-goers to safety. One video showed parade-goers yelling obscenities at the SUVs driver and passengers while these were handcuffed on the floor.

Children performing traditional dances may actually have been one of the primary to possess seen the SUV heading toward them, the videos showed. They ran aside amid screams among others scrambling to obtain taken care of.

The images also showed blankets, shoes, banners and umbrellas left strewn across the street and on the sidewalks as people fled.

Lujan Grisham said Friday that hawaii will send additional cops and a behavioral health crisis team to Gallup for all of those other ceremonial event.

Nez said the automobile was coming at him and several tribal officials marching in the parade. He thanked people when planning on taking quick action to obtain spectators and participants out of harms way.

We just require your prayers for several of the participants, Nez said in a video posted on social media marketing. Were all shook up. You’ll see this on television, you’ll think it could never happen here. Im unfortunately it happened within Gallup, New Mexico.

Tonya Jim said she visited the parade with her parents, grandchildren and children. Her 5-year-old granddaughter, KaRiah, was picked from the crowd to become listed on several dancers. Soon after, the automobile barreled down the parade route, turned and hit a guy across from their website who was simply sitting on a folding chair, she said. KaRiah was helped off the street by someone and had not been hurt.

Police section off the website where an SUV found an abrupt stop following a driver careened through the parade route of the Intertribal Ceremonial Centennial Celebration, in Gallup, New Mexico, Thursday, Aug. 4. 2022. Police arrested several individuals who were in a big SUV that drove by way of a Native American celebration in New Mexico, causing multiple injuries along a parade route crowded with families. (William C. Weaver IV/Gallup Independent via AP)

Im glad whoever was holding her hand just kept holding her hand and ran with her to obtain her off the street, Jim said. Im uncertain who she was, but Im thankful on her behalf.

Jim said the household burned cedar and prayed if they got home and did a tobacco smoke prayer Friday morning to relax.

I blessed my kids and thanked the creator they’re still with me and (to) pray for the families that are hurt, said Jim, who’s Navajo and lives in Fort Defiance.

Through the mayhem, the SUV swerved onto a side street and pulled right into a parking spot prior to trying to grab again. It hit a parked car and backed right into a police car, state police said. Officers converged on the automobile and detained the driver and two passengers who Irving defined as his brothers, in accordance with court papers.

Irving initially told police he had not been drinking before admitting to presenting at least a few beers, in accordance with court documents. He could be from the tiny community of Pinedale and faces 21 charges, the documents and police said.

City, state and tribal officials met Friday, with some urging more resources to handle alcohol abuse. Hawaii has long had a driving while impaired rate above the U.S. national average, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I believe theres always room for improvement, said Gallup police Capt. Erin Toadlena-Pablo. I dont think anyone should ever consider it and say were doing all we are able to. Theres always other means.

Officer Ramon Perez is treated for shock after an SUV drove through the parade route of the Intertribal Ceremonial Centennial Celebration in Gallup, New Mexico, Thursday, Aug. 4. 2022. Police arrested several individuals who were in a big SUV that drove by way of a Native American celebration in New Mexico, causing multiple injuries along a parade route crowded with families. (William C. Weaver IV/Gallup Independent via AP)

The nighttime parade is really a highlight of the ceremonial celebration, that was founded in 1922 for traders to showcase the culture and art of Native American tribes in your community, said Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial Association board President Kyle Tom.

A daytime parade will continue as planned on Aug. 13, your day before closing events, Tom said. Other events include dances, rodeos and a juried art show.

People happen to be Gallup from the vast Navajo Nation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah and from other tribal reservations to wait the parades and events. Nez, tribal lawmakers among others expressed anger and disbelief over what happened.

Its said to be a celebration, but today it had been a hard time for all of us, Nez said.

Fonseca reported from Flagstaff, Arizona. Associated Press writer Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico, contributed to the report.


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