Three injured after truck slams into spectators at Bakersfield Christmas parade

A pickup truck and police motorcycles on a street at night.
A Ford F-150 hit and injured three people Thursday night before the Bakersfield Christmas Parade, authorities said. The accident happened at 21st and H streets about 15 minutes before the parade was set to begin.
(Rodney Thornburg)

A suspected drunk driver last week slammed into spectators waiting to watch a Christmas parade in downtown Bakersfield, injuring three people, police said.

On Thursday evening, about half an hour before the start of the annual Bakersfield Christmas Parade, a man in a white pickup truck drove backward through an alleyway near the parade route at a high rate of speed, coming to a stop next to a city fire station on 21st Street, the Bakersfield Police Department said in a statement.

The Ford F-150 hit three male parade spectators, ages 21, 42 and 77. Authorities have not released their names.


Bakersfield firefighters who were nearby “immediately rendered medical aid” to the men, who were taken to a local hospital and were in stable condition, authorities said.

The driver, Alan Booth, 72, of Bakersfield, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, police said.

Officer Francisco Esguerra, a Bakersfield police watch commander, told the Times on Saturday night that Booth was at a hospital being treated for injuries related to the crash and had not yet been booked into jail.

Booth could not be reached for comment.

Police officers who were preparing for the parade nearby heard the truck accelerate before the collision, authorities said.

The collision also damaged a food truck, Poppi’s Pastrami & More.

“He pushed my whole truck. He pushed it like 8 [feet],” Misti Cole, the food truck owner, told KBAK Fox58.

Photos on the Poppi’s Pastrami & More Facebook page show the Dodge Ram pickup truck that was hauling the food trailer with a smashed front end.


Cole told the news station that her children were in the food trailer at the time of the crash and that other children had been sitting in chairs nearby to watch the parade.

“Trucks can be replaced. Those people who got hit, they can’t be replaced,” Cole told KBAK.

Poppi’s Pastrami, she said, is her family’s main source of income.

The parade was rerouted and briefly delayed.