Car Drives Into Crowd in VA Parade, Witnesses Lifted Vehicle Off Woman

Up to 60 Injured in Incident, No Fatalities

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By Daniel Distant, Christian Post Reporter
May 20, 2013|9:29 am

A car drove into a crowd at a Damascus, Va. parade Saturday afternoon, injuring up to 60 people in the process. The driver, an elderly man according to witnesses, could be brought up on charges for striking numerous hikers with his vehicle.

The car drove into the crowd at around 2:30 p.m. at the annual Trail Days festival in the small mountain town. The victims, numbering between 50 and 60, ranged from "trauma victims" to superficial scrapes, cuts and bruises, a police dispatcher told CNN.

"He was hitting hikers," Vickie Harmon, a witness, told the Associated Press. "I saw hikers go everywhere."

Another witness claimed that the car, a 1997 Cadillac with a disabled sticker, didn't stop after hitting a number of hikers. Parade-goers began to yell and scream at the elderly driver, who stopped after 100 feet, coming to rest on top of a woman.

"Everybody just threw our hands up on the car and we just lifted the car up," Amanda Puckett, who was part of the group that helped save the woman, told AP.

"There's no single heroes," said Keith Neumann, another hiker from the group. "We're talking about a group effort of everybody jumping in."

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Paramedics and other emergency medical personnel were able to respond quickly because they were already stationed at the parade. 12 to 15 people were hospitalized, and three of those had to be airlifted to medical facilities. All others were treated at the scene, but no fatalities occurred, Washington County director of emergency management Pokey Harris said.

The elderly man, who is a hiker and participated in the parade, could be brought up on charges despite his possible medical condition.

"[The incident] is under investigation and charges may be placed," Damascus Police Chief Bill Nunley told AP.

 

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