Friday, October 23, 2009

Tot survives parade fall

By Gina Morton
The Daily Item

SELINSGROVE — A 20-month-old child fell from a moving float during the Selinsgrove Halloween parade Tuesday evening and was run over by the back wheels of the trailer.

The Beavertown boy was in the company of his mother and riding on a trailer towed by a vehicle when he fell off the right side, onto the road and into the path of the trailer’s wheels. The trailer was representing Graysonview Assisted Living Center in Penn Township.

Police said the trailer rolled over the child before his mother and other occupants could react. The driver was not initially aware of the child until alerted by others. The boy was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, near Danville, for treatment. Neither police nor the assisted living center released the name of the child or his mother.

Lennie C. Boop, executive administrator of Graysonview, said Wednesday the child’s mother is an employee of the facility.

He said in a statement Wednesday that the boy was kept overnight for observation and underwent tests, and that the child’s injuries are not believed to be serious.

Boop added that the facility is providing support to the family of the child.

This is the third year the facility has had a float in the parade, he said. He would not say how many people were on the float at the time of the accident because police are investigating.

Chris Kenawell, chairman of the Selinsgrove parade committee, said he wasn’t aware of Tuesday night’s accident until Wednesday morning.

There are no age restrictions or requirements of Selinsgrove parade participants, Kenawell said. The safety of individuals involved in the parade procession is the responsibility of the driver of the float and the chaperones, Kenawell said.

“Each float is run by their particular organization,” he said. “It is their responsibility to use common sense for the safety of people on the float.”

Kenawell, a parade committee member for the past nine years, said the parade has never had an accident such as Tuesday evening’s.

“I don’t know what restrictions would have helped something like this,” Kenawell said.

As a result of the accident, the committee will likely consider various safety precautions that could be implemented for coming parades, he said, adding that he could not guarantee any changes.

Sunbury’s Halloween parade is tonight and the chairman of the event said there are few safety regulations that participants are expected to follow.

Michael Hummel, fire police captain and organizer for the Sunbury parade, said the city event does not regulate the age of participants, but that officials try to keep a close eye on those involved with the march.