May 19, 2013
Richmond, Virginia – From being a joyful parade spectator to a screaming throng; this was the transformation of the crowd that day. As least more than 50 spectators sustained injuries when a car came crushing towards the crowd during a parade in the US state of Virginia mountains.
Officials told the local media that the accident was so unexpected that it stunned the people who flocked to watch a Trail Days parade. This was a long-awaited public event held in a small southwestern Virginia town of Damascus.
Director L.V. Pokey Harris of the Washington County emergency management group told the media that there were more than 50 people injured when a car came crashing towards the crowd.
Authorities reported that last Saturday, a car with an old man on the wheel may have lost consciousness and bulldozed through a jubilant parade of small town composed of enthusiastic hikers in SW Virginia. The grim result was the injury of more than dozens of people, some of very serious nature.
Ben Sanders who is the volunteer fire department chief told Reuters that the Damascus, an Appalachian town was the setting of the parade where the Trial Days yearly festival is held. The main street was crowded with hikers who were walking from a particular spot end of town to a park at the other end.
However, Sanders said that the investigators are still probing what caused the automobile to crash into the parade; but he surmised that the senior male who was driving must have passed out or had some kind of disorder that he plowed through the crowd with his car.
Sanders added that the good news was that none of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening
After the incident, the driver told the police that he had no memory of what happened.
The proprietor of a backpacking and outfitters store in town, Steve Webb said that there were some hikers who said that after the mishap, they saw members of the crowd heaving the runaway car from one victim who had been dragged under the vehicle. An amateur video footage taken during the accident showed a car coming from the back of the hikers and plowing through them.
Sanders reported that there were around three to four people who sustained critical wound that were airlifted by ambulance helicopter to an area hospital. There were about six to eight suffering from non-life threatening injuries who were delivered by ambulance to local hospitals. There were around eight to 10 people with minor injuries that were treated by the medical team at the site.
Spokesperson from the Memorial Johnson Hospital in Abington said that there were seven people delivered to their hospital by ambulance that they treated for injuries from Damascus.
Trail Days annual festival is much awaited by thousands of tourists as the event celebrated the town’s proximity to four scenic trails that converge in the area. Hikers always follow Appalachian Trail; Iron Mountain Trail; U.S. 76 Bicycle Route; and the Trail of Virginia Creeper.
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Source: Focus-Fen Net
Source: GMA Net Work Com