STILLWATER, Okla. – The OSU community came together at this year’s homecoming parade to honor and remember the lives lost when tragedy struck last year’s event.
At the 2015 OSU homecoming parade, 25-year-old Adacia Chambers allegedly plowed through a crowd of parade-goers with her car.
"It's sad in a way but then at the same time it's really good to know that we're still strong and that kind of brought us all together,” Izzy O’Dell, a parade-goer, said.
Through shared pain, the Stillwater community pushes on.
"I had stood on the corner at Hastings where the car had ended up. It was really kind of scary on one hand but then at the same time I really wanted to help and everything,” O’Dell said.
Dozens were injured in the crash and four people died, including a little boy.
After that tragedy, with an estimated 80,000 OSU alumni expected at this year’s homecoming celebration, safety was a main concern.
"We've been going over the parade every other week since last December. Then once a week since the semester started. So, it's been a lot we have two city of Stillwater safety people that we meet with us every Tuesday,” Addison Murray, a homecoming exec member, said.
The safety measures proved successful.
As the crowd honored the four lives lost, they also showed they are Stillwater strong.
"Everyone wants to show that solidarity of you know we're still here and there was a tragedy last year but it's not going to stop us from coming and enjoying the parade and everything. You know we're all still going to come together and we're still going to be the cowboy family that we are,” O’Dell said.
Chambers’ attorney claims she suffers from mental illness.
She faces four counts of second degree murder charges and 42 counts of assault and battery.
Chambers pleaded not guilty to all charges.