Three children were taken to the hospital after they were injured in an accident at the Veterans Day Parade in St. Albans on Saturday.
St. Albans Police Chief Joe Crawford said a side-by-side, or utility task vehicle, was following behind a pickup truck and a float with several children on it. The vehicle jumped forward and rear-ended the float, knocking the children around and bringing the tailgate of the pickup truck down onto the children.
Three of the children were taken to the hospital. Crawford said at least two of the children were still there as of Saturday evening. He didn’t think any of the injuries were life-threatening, but he still described them as serious.
“What we were told was some lacerations, broken bones, and a concussion,” he said.
A few other children on the float were treated at the scene, Crawford said. He said the children were about the ages of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students.
Although the investigation continues, Crawford said police believed “operator error” from the driver of the side-by-side was likely to blame.
“What we believe happened is he [the driver] either meant to press the brake and hit the gas by mistake, or there was a malfunction of some kind,” the chief said. “We’re leaning toward operator error.”
He said investigators were still taking statements and trying to locate video of the incident, and would forward their findings to the Kanawha County prosecutor’s office to see if the driver should be charged.