On Saturday, Oct. 24 at about 10:31 a.m., Adacia Avery Chambers of Stillwater, Okla. drove her 2014 Hyundai Elantra into an empty police car before driving straight into a crowd of spectators at the Oklahoma State homecoming parade.
According to a report by CNN, four people have been pronounced dead and 44 people were injured. The fatalities of the crash included a two year old who was not named in the news; Nakita Prabhakar, age 23; Bonnie Jean Stone, age 65, and Marvin Lyle Stone, age 65. CNN includes the statistic that one quarter of the individuals injured by Chambers were between the ages of one and 13.
The 23-year-old killed was one of Oklahoma’s own MBA students from Mumbai, India. President Don Bets of the University of Central Oklahoma spoke about the death of the student:
“While our thoughts and prayers are with Oklahoma State 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. Our students come to Central with their unique goals, hopes and dreams, and Nikita was undoubtedly no different.”
Original reports of the accident questioned whether or not Chambers was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to Fox News, she is being charged with four second-degree murder charges. On Monday, Chambers was held on a $1 million bond during a hearing where the judge also ordered a psychological evaluation.
Saturday night, Chambers was arrested for the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol but attorney Tony Coleman said Chambers did not appear to be under the influence during his meeting with her a few hours after the accident occurred. Blood tests for the use of drugs and alcohol are still being waited on by the police to completely eliminate the possibility of driving under the influence.
According to a local Oklahoma newspaper, Chambers does have insomnia. To correlate with this, Chambers’ boyfriend, Jesse Gaylord, says he remembers her telling him she had not slept the night before the fatal accident. Chambers’ father, Floyd said, “The little girl I raised wouldn’t have done something like this.”
Coleman and Floyd both believe that Chambers may be suffering from some form of mental illness, although they are not sure of the specifics. Coleman said that after the crash Chambers was unable to remember the event other than being pulled out of her car.
Further investigation will follow as the police wait for the blood test results.
Something most may not know is that this is not the first large tragedy Oklahoma State has had. In 2001, 10 individuals were killed in a plane crash while returning from a men’s basketball game in Colorado. Then in 2011, the head and assistant basketball coaches were killed in a plane crash returning from a recruitment trip in Arkansas.