A holiday parade took a tragic turn on Saturday when a young girl was killed after falling underneath a float.
MaCali Cormier, 4, died due to the accident at the annual Christmas parade in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, the Yarmouth County Vanguard reported.
“She was not on the float. She was running alongside of the moving float when she fell underneath the float,” Nova Scotia RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson told CBC News.
Officers arrived on Starrs Road in Yarmouth at 6:58 p.m., the Halifax District Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) told PEOPLE in a statement. Emergency responders took MaCali to Yarmouth Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“RCMP have interviewed witness’ [sic] and will continue to do so as they come forward. We have seized the vehicle and the float in order to conduct a mechanical inspection,” the statement noted. “At this time the investigation is continuing and we will determine whether or not charges are warranted once the investigation is complete.”
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“This was a very traumatic event that was witnessed by so many people, including children, who were present to enjoy a family event,” the statement said.
“She loved school and couldn’t wait to go to the brand new school they were building across the street,” MaCali’s obituary stated. “She had a passion for swimming, camping at Ellenwood Park, horse riding, dancing and watching YouTube videos, most of which she did with her cousin Payton, whom she idolized.”
“MaCali will be remembered as an awesome big sister to Tessa and Matthew Cormier,” the obituary noted. “Most of all, MaCali will be remembered as a little girl who loved helping other people.”
“Tonight I spoke with Yarmouth mayor @PamMood to offer my condolences to the entire community for this weekend’s tragedy at the town’s Santa Claus parade,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.
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“As a parent, words fail at times like this,” the father of three continued. “Our thoughts are with the family of the young victim, and with everyone affected.”
“The Parade Committee is devastated by the traumatic accident during the Christmas Parade of Lights,” the Yarmouth Christmas Parade of Lights page said on Facebook.
“We, along with the community, mourn the familys’ [sic] loss and are praying for everyone affected,” the post added. “The focus is on coming together as a community and helping this family through a very difficult time.”
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“We are overwhelmed with the support and outreach of the community. The thoughts and prayers do bring comfort to help us through this tragedy. We all appreciate the love and care shown to us,” Roland Hannem, her grandfather, told the Vanguard.
MaCali is survived by her parents, siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and an uncle, according to her obituary. Her visitation will take place on Wednesday, and her funeral is set for Thursday.
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