Tragic parade death of Windsor boy not isolated incident

The death of an 8-year-old boy who was participating in Windsor’s annual Harvest Festival Parade was an accident, according to the Weld County Coroner, but the way he died was not an isolated incident.

For decades, stories appearing in local papers across the country have detailed tragic accidents along parade routes.

A 7-year-old boy from Maryland and a 8-year-old boy from Oklahoma both died in parade float accidents during 4th of July events in 2013. An 11-year-old girl from Texas and 9-year-old boy from New Hampshire both died after being run over during Christmas parades. The stories are strikingly similar. The child either fell or jumped off the float and was run over.

These types of accidents are rare, but they caught the attention of the National Transportation Safety Board after four people died and a dozen others were injured when a train collided with a parade float carrying wounded warriors in Texas in 2012. Two years later the agency issued a report that found “many communities and organizations across the U.S. don’t conduct risk assessments and implement safety plans.”

The report recommended local governments require written safety plans as part of the parade approval process that would include requirements for driver screening and safe float operation training. It also suggested that the absence of standardization for parade and special event safety across the country is a contributing factor in these accidents.

In Colorado, the requirements are mixed.

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