Sunday, February 3, 2008
Plant City -- Last night's City Commission meeting went on as scheduled. But from the prayers and the mayor's opening remarks, it was clear everyone's mind was on nine-year-old Jordan Hays. He was killed when he was run over by a Christmas parade float Friday night.
"No words can be spoken to ease the pain. I know all of us are searching for those words. There are no words," Mayor Rick Lott told the gathering.
After Friday's accident, city leaders are calling not only for a full investigation into what happened, but policy changes as well. Plant City Manager Dave Sollenberger told us, "We're not sitting back and ignoring this. We're deeply concerned and we never want to see anything like this happen again."
According to police, the boy was walking alongside the float drivien by his cousin, passing out candy to the crowd during the city's annual Christmas parade. His leg got caught in the wheel of the float trailer. He was pulled under and run over.
Johnny Knotts was among four people who tried to save Jordan as he was slipping away. "He was with four people who really loved him that night...and he was at peace," Knotts said.
The accident has left everyone in city government uneasy. Could it have been avoided? Were emergency responders there quick enough? Those are questions the City Manager wants answered in full reports from the police department, the fire department, and the parade committee.
The reports are due in the next few weeks. Once the city manager has compiled all the information, he plans on presenting some recommendations to the City Commission at their first meeting in January on what do do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
Most city government officials plan to attend Jordan's funeral this Friday in Floral City.
(CBS4/AP) WESTCLIFFE, Colo. The town of Westcliffe is mourning the death of a teen who was injured during a high school homecoming parade Saturday.
Custer County High School canceled its homecoming game and dance after the accident.
County officials say Courtney Curtis, 15, tried to climb aboard a float built on a flatbed trailer and fell under the trailer's back wheels.
"She was trying to get on between the trailer and the tractor portion of the float … and her feet slipped," Sheriff Fred Jones said. "This has bothered me a lot and I've seen a lot in my career, but this has bothered me more than most of them."
She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"She was a happy girl lots and lots of friends." Principal Barb Jones said. "She was a quiet student, but very well loved."
Custer County High School has canceled classes for Monday.
Grief counselors will be on hand when school resumes.