Reporting Mike Hellgren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Tragedy at the Annapolis Fourth of July parade. A young boy is dead after an accident involving one of the parade floats.
Mike Hellgren has details.
There are still markings on the pavement where his body was, where the float was. It was only going about one or two miles an hour when this tragedy struck.
The Fourth of July parade is a fun family tradition in Annapolis, but that spirit shattered when police say Kyle Aldridge, who’s just seven-years-old, fell while getting off a slow moving float and died.
Adding to the heartbreak, his grandfather was driving the van pulling it.
Mayor Josh Cohen was marching nearby when it happened.
“As you could imagine in a situation like this, they were just really distraught,” said Cohen. “And I just let them know that our city’s grieving with them. That’s a horrific thing, to respond to something like this, and it’s clearly affected some of our first responders.”
The float was for a company called iWheelie. There are Facebook pictures of it, taken earlier in the day.
Police say a tire struck the little boy as the float was getting in line, near the back of the parade,
“We believe it was just a tragic accident,” said Chief Michael Pristoop, Annapolis Police. “I don’t know what the driver could have absolutely seen there were others walking beside the trailer too. I don’t whether he was able to see everybody and everything going on at once.”
Many people are sharing their prayers and sympathy with the family of the young victim online.
One relative thanked the Lord for seven years, saying she was feeling lost and brokenhearted.
The accident stunned those living along the parade route.
“What a tragedy. Truly. I mean, this sort of thing is about, to a large, is about kids,” said Lee Boynton, Annapolis.
Police say drugs and alcohol played no role in the accident. Driver error was also not a factor.
“We’re going to be looking closely at what happened. And what we can do in the future to prevent something like this from happening again,” Cohen said.
The mayor and police chief say it will take about a week to fully complete the investigation.
Police say the float trailer is homemade and was built in 2005.