Memorial Day Celebration Turns Tragic: Leaves 2 Dead and 19 Injured

Photo by Julie Tupas on Unsplash

A Memorial Day weekend car cruise along O Street in Lincoln, Nebraska, turned deadly Sunday night as two cars collided and then crashed into the crowd, leaving 19 injured and two dead.

As spectators watched, two cars unrelated to the “Americruise” annual event collided, sending both vehicles into the crowd. Lincoln Police Capt. Max Hubka said the two women who died, ages 20 and 22, were in a car involved in the crash.

The crash was declared a “mass casualty,” according to Hubka. However, he added that investigators were working to determine what led to the crash, especially the collision involving onlookers during the O Street event.

Hubka didn’t estimate the crowd numbers gathered on the north side of O Street when the crash occurred. However, he did indicate fewer cars and fewer onlookers than on other cruise nights. However, he did commend those on-scene for helpfulness and cooperative compliance when requested to vacate the area.

Witnesses told the Lincoln Journal Star that one car was speeding and the other attempted to turn in the intersection. The impact thrust both vehicles into spectators gathered near Barnes & Noble.

Sunday’s crash is not the first time the cruise has brought tragedy. In 2000, a 39-year-old woman, Connie McCullough, was killed watching the cars pass near 35th and O streets. Then, a non-participant car veered off O Street and hit her. McCullough died shielding her children, according to the Journal Star.

The holiday weekend car cruise along O Street is an informal parade of classic cars with regular traffic. In previous years as many as 5,000 onlookers have gathered for the cruise.