St. Michael boy injured in Rogers parade float accident
by Mindy Mateuszczyk
What started as a day of sunshine and celebration took a turn for the worse with a float accident injuring a St. Michael boy.
Hundreds of parade watchers lined Main Street and Memorial Drive in Rogers Saturday, June 26, for the annual Rockin' Rogers Days parade. Rogers Police Chief Jeff Luther barely completed the parade route from his spot near the front of the line when he, along with several other police and rescue workers, responded to a parade float accident.
Reportedly, a nine-year-old boy was sitting in front of the wheel well of a trailer on the Hampton Inn float. As the driver made the right turn from Main Street to Memorial Drive the boy's foot was caught under the wheel and he was pulled off the trailer.
Witness reports varied stating the trailer wheel rolled over the boy's legs, chest and head. However, police were unable to confirm or deny these reports. Dan and Kathy Wagner were sitting at the corner watching the parade and witnessed the incident. Dan Wagner said the whole thing happened so fast the boy didn't yell or make a sound but the crowd did once they saw what happened. He perceived that the driver stopped immediately upon hearing the crowd's reaction preventing further injury.
Within minutes, several police responded, transferred the boy to a spine-board and transported him to North Memorial Hospital. Minutes later Chief Luther escorted the boy's mother, who was also on the float, to the hospital.
While police commented the boy appeared in stable condition as he was transported, Luther issued a statement Wednesday, June 30, confirming the boy sustained some lacerations to his right ear and assorted abrasions to his hands and knees.
"Considering the potential devastating injuries that he could have sustained, the boy is both fortunate and resilient," said Luther. He went on to say the injuries might require further corrective or cosmetic surgery.
He called the incident a rare and unfortunate circumstance. However, the situation will be including in the debriefing of Rockin' Rogers Days to occur between the police department and the Rogers Lions.
"We had some weather events that required temporary evacuation to the Community Center, the parade incident and some other situations throughout the weekend," he said. "Our first priority is the safety and welfare of visitors to Rockin' Rogers, so it only makes good sense to review the event afterwards to try improving upon our ability to be prepared in future years."
Luther said incidents related to alcohol were significantly reduced compared to the previous year.