A woman from Charlotte, North Carolina died over the weekend in a freak parade float accident in Lebanon, Illinois.
The 33-year-old mother died of injuries she sustained when she was run over by a float at the Lebanon, Illinois Fireman’s Parade. She was immediately transported to Memorial Hospital East in Lebanon and then flown to another hospital where she died a few hours later.
The police told the media that the woman was part of the parade; she was riding on a class reunion float that was filled with people celebrating their 15th high school reunion. The woman jumped off the float to grab a necklace that had fallen to the ground. She had to run to catch up to the float as it was moving. She was run over as she tried to get back onto the float.
Our Virginia and North Carolina personal injury lawyers are saddened at the death of this young woman in a parade. Parades are supposed to be joyous and celebratory events, but tragically, serious injuries and sometimes deaths occur across the country at these events.
Many local governments lack planning procedures and safety regulations for parades. In recent years, the NTSB has called for local governments to enact more strict parade safety measures. The agency in 2014 issued several recommendations to make parades safer.
The most important recommendation made by the NTSB was related to a 2012 Veteran’s Day parade accident in Midland TX. The agency called for local governments to mandate written safety plans as part of any parade approval process. At the very least, the plan should address how to reduce safety risks during the event, contingency planning, safety briefings, driver and vehicle screening, float safety procedures, and notifying railroads about possible hazards during the event.
The NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety states that one of the most common parade dangers is when people fall off of floats, or, as in the above case, a person gets off a float and tries to get back on, and falls.
Our personal injury attorneys support the requirement of local governments to submit written safety plans as a necessary part of getting approval for a parade. This type of safety plan could reduce the number of deaths and injuries that occur at parades.
Sadly, there is nothing that can be done to bring back the woman who lost her life in this Illinois parade. But there is a possibility of the family filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the local government and/or the organizers of the parade. The woman has left behind young children, and they will need care and support for years to come.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.