Journal of the San Juan Islands


Frightful first for Friday Harbor 4th parade

July 5, 2013 · Updated 5:56 PM

Onlookers rush to into the street and lift up a convertible to rescue a young girl trapped beneath it the wake of a collision at the annual Friday Harbor Fourth of July parade. / Scott Rasmussen

A Friday Harbor girl carrying a banner in the Friday Harbor 4th of July parade is recovering from scrapes, bumps and bruises, and a possible broken ankle, after she stumbled, fell and was then struck and dragged under a slow-moving car traveling directly behind her.

The procession came to an immediate, nerve-wracking standstill near the intersection of Spring Street and Argyle Avenue, as a crowd of parade onlookers dashed to the girl's aid. They lifted up the driver's side of the vehicle and eased the injured girl out from under the '50's era convertible Thunderbird.Crowd looks on

Both the driver of Thunderbird and the girl, who minutes earlier had been performing pirouettes while carrying the banner, were among those participating in the parade on behalf of the San Juan Island Library.

The collision occurred roughly 30 minutes after the parade began; the library was entry No. 9 of more than 40 parade participants.

The vehicle was pulled out of the procession and the driver questioned by a Sheriff's deputy.

Paramedics and emergency medical personnel, many of whom were participating in the parade as well, swarmed to scene and were attending to the injured girl in a matter of moments. Most were only a couple entries behind the library's in the procession.

Fittingly, perhaps, several paramedics first to attend to the girl were participating along with the American Legion's "M*A*S*H" float, a recognition of the parade's theme, The Fabulous '50's.

Examined and treated at the scene, the girl was then taken by ambulance to Peace Island Medical Center.

paramedics in actionAn early assessment indicated the girl suffered abrasions and bruises but that paramedics had ruled out any serious trauma or life-threatening injuries, San Juan Island Fire Department Chief Steve Marler said at the scene.

According to long-time parade emcee Pat O'Day, the injury-accident is a first-ever in the long and celebrated history of the island's annual holiday parade. O'Day announced at the Pig War Picnic, the start of which begins directly after the parade, that the young girl was in stable condition.

— Scott Rasmussen


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