Sunday, February 3, 2008

Barta’s daughter hit in parade

Barta’s daughter hit in parade

By Brian Morelli
Iowa City Press-Citizen

• Photo gallery: UI Homecoming Celebration

The 7-year-old daughter of University of Iowa’s top athletic official was struck during the Homecoming 2007 parade last week.

UI Athletic Director Gary Barta’s daughter Madison was participating in the parade, walking alongside a float on Friday handing out candy when she tripped, fell and was run over, Gary Barta said on Wednesday.

“It was very scary for her and my wife and I, but she is going to be OK,” Gary Barta said, noting that he did not see the accident first hand but arrived on the scene shortly after.

Madison Barta suffered a lower leg fracture, Gary Barta said, but she is starting to feel better.

On Tuesday, the Press-Citizen reported that a 5-year-old girl fell off a float and was run over at about 6:23 p.m. Friday at the Washington and Dubuque streets intersection, based on information from Iowa City police and parade officials.

Gary Barta estimated that was about the same time and place his daughter was struck.

After medical personnel cleared her, Madison Barta was transported by a private vehicle to University Hospitals for care. Gary Barta said this was closer than an ambulance.

While some have said the parade is becoming too dangerous, and are calling for measures such as banning candy, Barta said the incident will not deter his family from coming back to the parade and has not prompted him to push for any new regulations.

“The Homecoming parade is a great tradition … I want the best, safest parade possible, but I am not involved in any discussions or any kind of charge to change the parade,” Barta said. “My family and I will continue to be part of the Homecoming parade.”

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