|St. Clair Times, The (Pell City, AL) |
March 24, 2004
Thursday, December 20, 2007
|Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ) |
October 28, 2001
Section: NEW JERSEY
|Associated Press Archive |
July 4, 2001
|Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) |
October 8, 2001
Section: City & Region
PHOTO COURTESY OF CLEM FAMILY
Janet Clem was with her son, Les, at the Regional World Series Playoffs for 13- and 14-year-old All-Stars last year in Fort Wayne, Ind. In addition to baseball and football, Les played basketball.
|Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN) |
December 3, 2001
FATAL ACCIDENT TN HOLIDAY
|Courier News (Bridgewater, NJ) |
October 30, 2001
|Associated Press Archive |
July 22, 2001
|The Knoxville News-Sentinel |
December 3, 2001
|Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ) |
October 28, 2001
Section: NEW JERSEY
|St. Augustine Record, The (FL) |
December 2, 2007
|Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) |
October 17, 2005
Teen Dies In Homecoming Parade Accident
(CBS4/AP) WESTCLIFFE, Colo. The town of Westcliffe is mourning the death of a teen who was injured during a high school homecoming parade Saturday.
Custer County High School canceled its homecoming game and dance after the accident.
County officials say Courtney Curtis, 15, tried to climb aboard a float built on a flatbed trailer and fell under the trailer's back wheels.
"She was trying to get on between the trailer and the tractor portion of the float … and her feet slipped," Sheriff Fred Jones said. "This has bothered me a lot and I've seen a lot in my career, but this has bothered me more than most of them."
She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"She was a happy girl lots and lots of friends." Principal Barb Jones said. "She was a quiet student, but very well loved."
Custer County High School has canceled classes for Monday.
Grief counselors will be on hand when school resumes.
2 Killed in Brooklyn Parade, 3d Dies in Accident Afterward
Two 11-year-old children were killed and another child was injured yesterday afternoon when a minivan lurched out of control at the annual Caribbean parade in Brooklyn. The accident cast a pall over a joyful festival that has grown into one of the largest gatherings in New York City.
The van, which was covered with feathers and carrying costumes for parade performers, struck the children as they danced in the streets to the bouncing rhythms of Trinidadian soca music, pinning them against a mammoth sound truck just in front.
Hours later, as revelers were dispersing after the parade, an 18-year-old man was struck and killed by a sound truck along the parade route, the police said.
The accident that killed the two children came at the peak of the West Indian American Carnival parade, a festival that offers the city's West Indian immigrants a joyful release from the activities of daily life. The police did not have a crowd estimate last night, but in previous years the parade has drawn two million people, making it the largest parade in New York.
The accident delayed the festivities but did not stop them. Under unexpectedly sunny skies, nurses and cooks, housekeepers and lawyers donned sequined and feathered costumes for the procession along Eastern Parkway. Vendors served jerk chicken, curried goat and the cool juice of sorrel while flags from every Caribbean nation doubled as head scarves and sarongs. Spectators squeezed against one another, most of them unaware of the crash.
The two 11-year-olds, a boy named Dawn Joseph and a girl named Zacehel David, were taken to Kings County Hospital Center, where they were pronounced dead. A third child, Kara Charles, 10, suffered neck and back injuries and was in stable condition last night. Four others in the parade suffered minor injuries.
The police said the crash, which occurred shortly before 2 P.M., appeared to have been an accident. The driver of the van and the driver of the truck, which was carrying a soca band called Caribbean Magic, were tested for alcohol but were not intoxicated, said Inspector Michael Collins, a police spokesman.
''The victims appeared to be dancing between the van and the truck,'' Inspector Collins said. ''It doesn't appear to be alcohol-related or mechanical failure. It just looks like an accident.''
The van, a black Astro, was carrying costumes for dancers and performers up ahead. Just before the accident, the police said, the driver, Ashton P. Gertton, 71, of Brooklyn, had stepped out of the van to help some dancers with their costumes.
When he returned to the driver's seat, he apparently lost control. The driver of the truck ahead, Winston G. Scott, also of Brooklyn, was arrested on a charge of driving with a suspended license, but he was not cited in connection with the accident, the police said.
Dawn Joseph had moved to Brooklyn from Florida in July to live with his mother and grandfather, the grandfather, Augustus Joseph, said last night. The boy was to start junior high school this week, and his mother, Donna, planned to enroll him in karate classes, Mr. Joseph, 54, said from the porch of his house on Midwood Street in East Flatbush.
Instead, Donna Joseph held her only child in her arms as he died, Mr. Joseph said.
''She said she just saw the van take off and she couldn't believe it was going to hit those kids,'' he said. ''But by the time she ran to try to get him out of the way, the van had already hit him. He was just crushed.''
For a little more than two hours, police officers blocked the westbound lanes of Eastern Parkway near the corner of Nostrand Avenue, where the accident had occurred. The parade continued on the two other lanes, and a cadre of police officers tried to keep an increasingly frustrated crowd behind barricades. Those who witnessed the accident described it as a momentary flash of horror, almost soundless in the midst of a noisy and boisterous celebration.
James Charles, 43, of Paterson, N.J., was standing in the shade of a tree near the intersection when, he said, he saw the minivan inexplicably accelerate. ''It just picked up speed all of a sudden and rammed into the truck,'' said Mr. Charles, a maintenance man and a native of Trinidad. ''The people were pinned in between.''
Like dozens of others, he jumped over a barricade in an effort to help, he said. A woman was pumping a little girl's chest. Another was trying to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Paramedics arrived within minutes, he said, and the police blocked off the area.
A jumble of white and pink feathers along with crushed plastic bottles lay on the street yesterday afternoon, marking the spot of the accident. After the police cleared the area and reopened the eastbound lanes of the parkway, a sound truck bearing a Trinidadian band, Krosfyah, sang their version of Bob Marley's ''Redemption Song.''
It was not the first time the Caribbean parade has been marred by fatal accidents. In 1997 a parade spectator was struck by a vehicle and killed, the police said, and in 1994 a man was crushed by the wheels of a float .
The second fatal accident yesterday occurred about 8 P.M., after the parade had ended but before all the sound trucks had been cleared off the parkway, the police said. Kevon Donovan, 18, apparently got his clothing caught in the wheel of a tractor-trailer truck near the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and was dragged under it, said Officer Valerie St. Rose, a police spokeswoman.
Witnesses said that Mr. Donovan, of Clarkson Avenue in East Flatbush, had backed into the street along with several other people when someone in the crowd brought out a large yellow snake.
''A guy came through with a snake and that's what I guess got him shook,'' said Ryan Girard, a friend of Mr. Donovan's who was mourning him outside Kings County Hospital, where he died at 9:25 P.M. ''Everybody started pushing. I tried to pull him out from under the truck, but I couldn't do nothing. He looked at me and called out my name.''
Mr. Donovan was from the Caribbean island commonwealth St. Lucia and was going into 12th grade at Frederick Douglass High School, Mr. Girard said.
The driver of the truck, Hugh Bennett, 50, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., was not charged in connection with the accident, although he was arrested on a warrant for failure to pay child support, the police said.
For the last several years, the parade has become the major event for Labor Day in the city, eclipsing the procession organized by union leaders, who this year held their parade on the Wednesday before Labor Day.
Even though the parade is an expression of Caribbean culture rather than labor solidarity, the celebration is in many ways a fitting Labor Day procession, led by thousands of men and women who make the city work. But for this Labor Day parade, workaday clothes often take a holiday.
Yesterday, a nurse who works the night shift at Kings County Hospital strutted around in a costume with six serpents dancing above his head.
A security guard who commutes for two hours every day called herself Tiger Tiger, outfitted in a leopard-spot bodysuit. A beautician from Far Rockaway, Queens, became a butterfly with gossamer wings of blue and silver.
Indeed, for those who do it year after year, playing mas, as the masquerade of Carnival is called, is not just a reminder of the rituals of home, but a brief escape from the trouble and toil of everyday existence.
''Because of the stressful life we have, everybody looks forward to this,'' said Ricardo Lorick, the nurse, who was parading yesterday with a group called Hawks International. ''Instead of taking my frustration out on my family and my patients, I save it up and take it out here.''
Several of his colleagues from Kings County marched in hospital T-shirts. ''That's boring,'' Mr. Lorick said flatly. Instead, he posed for pictures early yesterday afternoon in an outfit he designed and built at home -- an imaginary creature with gold wings and six snake heads. He called himself Beast Master. ''I like being in the spotlight.''
He wasn't alone. Michael Lewis, the king of Hawks International, showed a visitor his turquoise blue costume, which weighed 60 pounds.
He said he and his wife had spent nearly $10,000 on their costumes this year and had spent countless evenings cutting and sewing in the backyard of their house in Richmond Hill, all for a hot afternoon of dancing and extravagant display.Today, he will return to work in a suit and tie, as a chief financial officer of a legal services agency. ''For 35 to 55 hours a week, you're in an office, and you need an outlet,'' said Mr. Lewis, 48. ''Although this is very difficult work -- a lot of time goes into it -- it's very relaxing to me. A lot of people will tell you this is therapy for me, instead of paying a psychiatrist.''
Bill would change laws for parades
By Chris Dornin
Golden Dome News
CONCORD -- A Portsmouth lawmaker has filed a bill to ban flatbed
trailers with outrigger wheels from parades after the recent death of
a Greenland Cub Scout. Nine-year-old Thomas Fogarty was riding on a
Portsmouth Holiday Parade float with his Scout pack around 6:15 p.m.
Dec. 2 on Islington Street when he somehow fell in front of a double-
axle wheel. Authorities don't know what caused the tragedy, but they
have ruled it an accident.
Representative Paul McEachern, D-Portsmouth, is prime sponsor of HB
296, a one-line bill that says, "No person may use any type of
flatbed trailer with outrigger wheels in a parade." McEachern said
the wheels on Fogarty's float stuck out from the side of the trailer.
"The police said the boy was sitting forward of the outrigger wheels
and either fell in front of them or got his leg caught in the wheel
and was pulled under," the Portsmouth rep said. "Many trailers have
the wheels underneath. Those wouldn't be outlawed."
Senator Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, has filed a companion bill that
might merge with McEachern's. She hasn't seen the final draft, but
her legislation would require a parade permit for any float that
carries minors. The float would either have a 3-foot railing to keep
kids from falling off, or the adults would tether or seat belt the
kids onto the platform. If these options were impractical, the
sponsors of the float could set up radio communication between the
adult on the flatbed and the driver so the truck could stop at the
first sign of danger.
"They've got to be able to hit the brakes right now," Hassan said.
"The intent isn't to dictate what to do in every case, but to get
them thinking about the situation they're placing kids in. Hopefully,
the adult would see a dangerous problem in time to intervene."
Rep. Jim Splaine, D-Portsmouth, is a co-sponsor on both bills, and
other Seacoast lawmakers may be signing on.
McEachern said a second serious accident in the same holiday parade
could have become a fatality. A man walking beside a flatbed float
was using a rope to tow the bell of a restored antique fire pump. The
heavy trailer wheels ran over his toes.
"He's had all kinds of complications," MacEachern said "He was either
walking too slow, or the parade started back up when he wasn't
expecting. People have to realize how dangerous these trailers are,
despite their slow speed. They're just not designed for parades,
which are stop and go by definition."
Walter Lebor, the owner of Great Northern Excavating in Exeter, said
he's never seen the trailer addressed in McEachern's bill. He assumed
it applies to specialty trailers for hauling extra-heavy equipment.
"The standard low-bed around town doesn't have them," Lebor said.
"Some have metal brackets to give it an extra foot of width, but the
wheels are way inside the outrigger. I can't think of any trailer it
would apply to."
McEachern said he has in mind wheels that jut outside the outline of
the trailer as viewed from above.
Portsmouth Police Lt. Rodney McQuate headed the accident
investigation and confirmed that no charges would be filed.
The boy's parents could not be reached by phone, but they have set up
a memorial fund for their late son to support school enrichment
programs. Donors may send gifts to the Thomas Edward Fogarty Memorial
Fund, c/o Greenland Central School, 70 Post Road, Greenland, NH 03840.
Brian and Deborah Fogarty issued a statement a few days after their
loss, thanking the community for its overwhelming support and
praising the rescue workers.
"We ask that you please keep everyone involved in this tragic
accident in your thoughts and prayers," the parents said, describing
Thomas as a beautiful, bright, energetic, and life-loving boy.
"Although this is a tragic and sad time in our lives, we believe that
something positive will come out of this," they added. "Last, we ask
that you give your children an extra hug tonight and value the time
that you have together.
Organizers of the University of Iowa homecoming parade said it was unfortunate that a child was run over during Friday's parade, while some people want to ban candy being distributed during the event.
"It is really up to parents to keep their kids back," said Shelly Stout, the executive director of the UI Homecoming Council, the group that planned the parade. "We can only do so much with our crowd control. It is unfortunate that this happened."
Police responded at 6:23 p.m. Friday to the Washington and Dubuque streets intersection, which was on the parade route, to an unnamed 5-year-old who was run over by a vehicle, according to Sgt. Troy Kelsay, the public information officer with the Iowa City Police Department.
"The dispatcher was under the impression it was more of a scare than anything, but I don't know the extent of injuries," Kelsay said, adding the child was transported by a private vehicle to a hospital, but he was not sure which one.
Kelsay and Stout said this is the first accident they can recall during the annual parade, and they had not received any complaints or heard of other incidents this year.
Stout said she did not have many details about the accident but said that a girl fell off a truck bed.
Some residents have expressed concern that the parade is dangerous because people on the floats toss candy into the crowd, prompting children to run into the street and potentially in front of moving vehicles.
Stout said their policy forbids throwing candy from floats, but they can hand it to people directly.
Rhys Jones of Iowa City attended the parade with his wife and 6-year-old twins. He said the candy makes the parade dangerous.
Jones said he watched four or five incidents where people would grab candy from the floats and dump handfuls into the middle of the street leading children to run into the middle of traffic.
"Every year you hear complaints from parents," Jones said. "It's hard to believe that Iowa City, with all its rules and regulations, allows this."
Jones said some communities don't allow candy in their parades, and that Iowa City should ban it, too.
"I am seriously questioning if we can go to another parade," Jones said, noting they have been going for the past four years.
Sgt. Doug Hart, who has been with the Iowa City Police Department for the past 15 years, was on duty at the parade Friday. He said he thinks the parade is safe and that parents must take responsibility to ensure their own children's safety.