Driver in Raleigh Christmas parade death had multiple tickets for violating Va. vehicle rules

Ethan Hyman/ehyman@newsobserver.com

The 20-year-old behind the wheel of a parade float truck that killed a young girl at the Raleigh Christmas Parade Saturday faced more than a dozen traffic infraction and vehicle equipment violations in Virginia since 2021 — some as recent as last month.

Landen Christopher Glass was driving one of the two trucks towing CC & Co. Dance Complex floats along the parade route when spectators say he appeared to lose control of the vehicle. Police say one of the group’s dancers died after she was struck at low speed, causing serious injuries.

ABC 11, The News & Observer’s newsgathering partner, reported that Glass was honking his horn and yelling for people to get out of the way.

Glass, who in the past had competed in dance competitions as a member of the CC & Co. troupe, was charged hours after the incident with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, improper equipment, unsafe movement and carrying a firearm in a parade. He was cooperating with the investigation, which is ongoing, police said.

Registered with Virginia license plates, the GMC Denali pick-up truck Glass was driving had several after-market modifications.

Police have not yet released any information about possible mechanical issues, although some spectators said they thought the brakes may have failed.

It’s unclear if the truck was the same vehicle Glass was driving when he was ticketed by Virginia authorities on at least five separate dates since 2021. In that less than two-year period, Virginia court records show, Glass was ticketed four times for failing to have his vehicle inspected.

The remainder of the 17 infractions included violations for having an improper exhaust system and other equipment issues.

Virginia court records show several infractions, as well as a speeding ticket, in February, March, April and June of 2021 in which Glass faced fines and court fees totaling more than $1,000.

Authorities ticketed Glass again just three weeks ago on Oct. 30, when state troopers charged him with having no marker lights, an improper exhaust system, illegal tinting and failure to have his vehicle inspected. Those violations — all considered traffic infractions, according to Virginia court records — are still pending.

Officials at Shop Local Raleigh, which organizes and runs the Christmas parade, have not yet responded to questions from the N&O about their policies for vetting and approving drivers for entries to the event, which the website notes is invitation only.

The N&O’s Brian Gordon and Lars Dolder contributed reporting.