RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The dad of an 11-year-old girl killed in the Raleigh Christmas Parade last year said city leaders used his family as an excuse to cancel the annual parade — without ever actually having talked to his family about it.
Trey Brooks said this isn’t the way the family wanted to honor their daughter, Hailey.
He said if the family had ever been asked — they would’ve told city leaders the best way to honor his daughter would’ve been to keep the parade going.
Even though leaders reversed the initial cancelation and now say the parade is on, he said his family was never involved in the decision-making process.
“Not a single person, mayor, council ever reached out to see if canceling would honor us,” he said.
Brooks confronted city council members at a meeting Tuesday night.
He accused the City of Raleigh of taking “no responsibility for its role in the tragedy and buried its head in the sand.”
The city denied a request for this year’s Christmas parade on Sept. 14. City leaders said the decision was in part to honor Hailey. The next day, the city said a parade would be held as planned but without motorized vehicles.
Brooks said the city has had 11 months to ensure the parade tradition continues with basic safety measures in place. But he said the city has done nothing so far.
When asked by CBS 17 whether the city reached out to the Brooks family, Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin said she didn’t know.
“We are very sorry, obviously for the family’s loss, it’s heartbreaking, and our staff did what they felt was the right thing to avoid having something similar ever happen again,” Baldwin said.