Rhode Island Parade Organizers Probe Accident at Oldest July 4th Fest

July 7, 2017

The committee that organizes the nation’s oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration says it’s trying to figure out how a woman was struck by a parade float and wants to prevent future accidents.

The crash occurred Tuesday in Bristol, R.I.

A committee officer told WJAR-TV that they’re following up with police and that safety is the parade’s priority.

The 69-year-old woman from Maine suffered superficial cuts and abrasions to her legs, said Bristol Police Capt. Brian Burke.

Police are investigating, but the driver of the truck, which was towing a trailer holding the float, has not been cited.

“At this point there are no charges that will result,” Burke said. “It appeared to be just an unfortunate accident.”

The woman was standing toward the front of a trailer carrying a replica of the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier. She was part of the Saratoga Museum group sponsoring the float.

The trailer was stopped, waiting to enter the parade route. When the vehicle started slowing moving, she was struck and dragged a short distance, Burke said.

Frank Lennon, president of the USS Saratoga Museum Foundation, said the volunteer is fine and the group will “absolutely” be back at the parade next year.

“Everybody was very lucky. There was no serious impact to anything,” he said.

A Fourth of July celebration has taken place in Bristol since 1785 and now attracts around 100,000 people.

Burke said that to his knowledge, this is the first time there has been an accident like this.

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