On Friday afternoon, May 17, the Virginia town of Damascus hosted the Hikers Parade during the Trail Days festival. The parade ended early, however, when a car that was in the parade accelerated and turned toward the crowd, injuring nearly 60 spectators.
The car, which witnesses say was driven by an elderly man who had regularly hiked the Appalachian Trail, was participating in the parade when it suddenly increased its speed to approximately 25 miles per hour and struck spectators standing on a two-lane bridge. Between 50 and 60 people were injured.
Thankfully, no fatalities were reported, but three victims who were critically injured were airlifted to hospitals in the area. The driver of the vehicle was also taken to the hospital. The two victims who remained at the hospital overnight were no longer in critical condition as of May 19, while most of the injured were treated and released.
While the accident is tragic, many people believe that it was not an intentional event; most, including the town’s Chief of Police Bill Nunley, believe that the driver experienced a medical problem. A man who avoided being struck by jumping onto the hood of the car said that the driver likely was unaware that he had hit anyone.
After the car came to rest, several spectators leapt into action to lift the car off several people who were pinned underneath the vehicle.
The Northern Virginia pedestrian accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins wish all victims of the accident, as well as the driver of the vehicle, a full and speedy recovery.
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