Wednesday, February 6, 2008

10-year-old boy was injured Saturday when a float hit him

Prichard police have asked for funds to buy barricades

City lacks barriers, and a 10-year-old boy was injured Saturday when a float hit him
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Staff Reporter

Barricades along the Krewe of Goats parade route Saturday in Prichard would have prevented a 10-year-old boy from being struck by a float, concerned citizens said Monday.

Prichard Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said there are no barricades along any of Prichard's Mardi Gras parade routes.

He said that he applied for federal funds to buy barricades before the beginning of this year's Mardi Gras festivities.

It would cost $50,000 to $100,000 for enough barricades to line the parade routes through his city, Battiste said, noting he hopes to get the money and have the barricades in place next year.

"I would just ask parents to be more vigilant during the parades and keep their children away from the floats," Battiste said.

The chief said that he participated in the Saturday parade in which the child was injured, but did not witness the accident.

Nona Simmons, a Prichard police spokeswoman, declined to identify the boy Monday but said he suffered a broken leg during the parade along St. Stephens Road. He was taken to USA Children's & Women's Hospital for treatment.

No charges were filed against Alvin Taylor Jr., who was driving the vehicle pulling the float, authorities said.

Battiste said that he understood that Taylor stopped the float as soon as the child was struck.

Fifty Alabama State Troopers in cars and on motorcycles helped keep order during Monday's parade, Battiste said.

Troopers on motorcycles rode back and forth along the parade route, telling people to stay out of the street while the floats rolled.

Mallory Rembert brought her 23-month-old daughter and several nephews and nieces to Monday's parade in Prichard.

Rembert, 23, of Prichard said she was not aware that the boy was injured during Saturday's Krewe of Goats parade, but she said she was disturbed by the news.

"They should have barricades on every parade so it will be safe for kids, so they won't get hit," she said.

Children get excited by the approaching floats and the promise of throws, she said.

"Their parents should be watching them instead of letting them run off," Rembert said.

She said she would be willing to pay extra taxes to raise money for the barricades.

Gladys Vassel, 53, of Prichard, who brought her 9-year-old granddaughter to Monday's parade, said she wasn't surprised that someone had been hurt.

"They didn't have any barricades out protecting them," she said.

© 2008 Press-Register

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