Friday, October 1, 2010

Torchlight goes on despite accident...boy Falls From Trailer

Dark note to parade of lights

Torchlight goes on despite accident

Dark note to parade of lights

Torchlight goes on despite accident

Torchlight goes on despite accident By Käri Knutson | | Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 12:00 am |

The return of Oktoberfest's nighttime Torchlight Parade was marred Thursday evening when a young boy was run over by a float, delaying the event for 30 minutes. The boy fell from a trailer decorated for Habitat for Humanity about 7:55 p.m. and slipped under the wheels near Gillette and Avon streets, witnesses said.

A Tri-State Ambulance bike team staffing the parade route reached the boy within minutes. He quickly was taken to a local hospital, but his injuries were not considered serious or life-threatening, said Tom Tornstrom, Tri-State director of operations. The boy's name and age weren't released.

The accident, which happened about an hour into the parade, left some onlookers shaken.

Barb Alsobrooks and her 14-year-old daughter Desha saw the entire incident from a nearby curb.

"I was scared. I didn't know what actually happened," Desha said, though she was reassured when she saw Tri-State staff tending to the boy.

"He was crying for his mom," Barb Alsobrooks said. "She was right there."

It was an unfortunate somber note to what otherwise seemed a perfect night for the illuminated event, which had to be canceled in 2009 for the first time in 38 years due to heavy rain and lightning.

While some opted to head home early, a fair number of spectators waited out the delay.

Mark and Crystal Wuensch said parades have become a family favorite. The Torchlight was their sixth this year with Alanna, 8, and Xander, 1.

"I like when they throw out stuff," Alanna said.

Her loot has included lots of candy, a football, bookmarks, string cheese and her favorite - a YMCA T-shirt.

Xander loves the music.

"He really rocks out," Alanna said.

For Crystal, the parade is a tradition that began when she was a kid.

"I love the whole thing," Crystal said. "I think I miss half the parade watching my kids."

While Mary Freitag came to the first Torchlight Parade at age 11, she hadn't returned since.

"It just wasn't my thing," she said.

Now living only blocks away from the route, she decided to check it out again.

"Now I see why they say it's exciting," she said as Parade Marshals Bill and Karen Bush passed by in a lit carriage. "Maybe next year I'll bring my grandkids."

No comments: