One woman was killed and three others were injured after a van struck a group of runners during the beginning of The Bear Race at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina on Thursday (July 7), leading to the cancellation of the race, event officials confirmed via NBC News.
“Shortly after 7 p.m. this evening as “The Bear” footrace was about to begin, an accident involving a vehicle and multiple pedestrians occurred near the intersection of U.S. 221 and N.C. Hwy. 105 in Linville, N.C. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games took immediate action to cancel the race,” Grandfather Mountain Highland Games wrote in a post shared on its Facebook account.
The event is a four-day showcase of music, dancing and sports celebrating Scottish heritage in Western North Carolina.
“The Bear” is a 5-mile footrace held during the event that begins at the intersection of Linville, North Carolina and concludes at the top of Grandfather Mountain.
North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers confirmed that the van was working the race and transporting people up and down the mountainside when it struck the group of runners, as well as a Gator 4×4 vehicle, WSOC reported.
“On behalf of myself and the entire Grandfather Mountain Highland Games organization and family, we are deeply saddened by tonight’s devastating event and extend our condolences to those affected,” Grandfather Mountain Highland Games President Steve Quillin said in the Facebook post.
The condition of the three injured runners and identifies of all the victims were not released as of Friday (July 8) afternoon.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol said it is still gathering information as part of its ongoing investigation into the incident.