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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

10-year-old boy was injured Saturday when a float hit him

Prichard police have asked for funds to buy barricades

City lacks barriers, and a 10-year-old boy was injured Saturday when a float hit him
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Staff Reporter

Barricades along the Krewe of Goats parade route Saturday in Prichard would have prevented a 10-year-old boy from being struck by a float, concerned citizens said Monday.

Prichard Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said there are no barricades along any of Prichard's Mardi Gras parade routes.

He said that he applied for federal funds to buy barricades before the beginning of this year's Mardi Gras festivities.

It would cost $50,000 to $100,000 for enough barricades to line the parade routes through his city, Battiste said, noting he hopes to get the money and have the barricades in place next year.

"I would just ask parents to be more vigilant during the parades and keep their children away from the floats," Battiste said.

The chief said that he participated in the Saturday parade in which the child was injured, but did not witness the accident.

Nona Simmons, a Prichard police spokeswoman, declined to identify the boy Monday but said he suffered a broken leg during the parade along St. Stephens Road. He was taken to USA Children's & Women's Hospital for treatment.

No charges were filed against Alvin Taylor Jr., who was driving the vehicle pulling the float, authorities said.

Battiste said that he understood that Taylor stopped the float as soon as the child was struck.

Fifty Alabama State Troopers in cars and on motorcycles helped keep order during Monday's parade, Battiste said.

Troopers on motorcycles rode back and forth along the parade route, telling people to stay out of the street while the floats rolled.

Mallory Rembert brought her 23-month-old daughter and several nephews and nieces to Monday's parade in Prichard.

Rembert, 23, of Prichard said she was not aware that the boy was injured during Saturday's Krewe of Goats parade, but she said she was disturbed by the news.

"They should have barricades on every parade so it will be safe for kids, so they won't get hit," she said.

Children get excited by the approaching floats and the promise of throws, she said.

"Their parents should be watching them instead of letting them run off," Rembert said.

She said she would be willing to pay extra taxes to raise money for the barricades.

Gladys Vassel, 53, of Prichard, who brought her 9-year-old granddaughter to Monday's parade, said she wasn't surprised that someone had been hurt.

"They didn't have any barricades out protecting them," she said.

© 2008 Press-Register

Businessman Run Over by Parade Float

New Orleans 02/04/08
Businessman Run Over by Parade Float

Posted: Feb 4, 2008 03:32 PM

Hancock County is mourning the loss of a well-known businessman after a Mardi Gras accident.

Jody Compretta, 39, died during a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans Saturday night.

Compretta was riding on a float in the Endymion parade. He was run over by the tail end of the float as he tried to get off of it, once the parade ended near the Superdome.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Compretta was the son of State Representative J. P. Compretta and owned a medical supply company in Bay St. Louis. He was a former president of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Bay Area Recovery Team.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mansura Teen Killed In Parade Accident

Mansura Teen Killed In Parade Accident

Article published Feb 3, 2008
Mansura Teen Killed In Parade Accident
Town Talk Staff

Mardi Gras festivities in Avoyelles Parish were marred when Kain Sayer, 21, of Mansura struck and killed his 16-year-old brother, Clay, with a Mardi Gras float in tow behind a pick-up during a parade.

The truck had stopped on Community Center Road near La. Hwy. 107 around 5 p.m. Saturday. Clay Sayer was standing near the vehicle to talk to some of the participants when Sayer began pulling forward, pinning the boy under the float, according to a Louisiana State Police press release. He died at the scene.

Police charged Sayer with DWI, vehicular homicide and careless operation, according to the release.

The Avoyelles Parish Coroner's Office is investigating the cause of death.

This is the fourth fatality investigation conducted by Troop E since the beginning of the year.

published Feb 3, 2008

Float Rider Killed During Endymion

Float Rider Killed During Endymion

Float Rider Killed During Endymion

POSTED: 10:28 am CST February 3, 2008
UPDATED: 10:31 am CST February 3, 2008
The return of Endymion was marked with tragedy.On Saturday night, a rider on the captain’s float fell off and was killed.The accident happened outside the Superdome just after the float paraded through the Endymion Extravaganza, which takes place inside the Superdome.The back of the Superdome, where the fatality occurred, was marked off with crime scene tape by the New Orleans Police Department.Investigators said it was an accident.“Our preliminary investigation reveals that the rider attempted to exit the back of the float prematurely and he fell off the float,” NOPD Officer Jonette Williams said. “The driver did not know the man had exited or fallen off and was therefore struck by the second, back portion of the float. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim is an adult male but we are not releasing his name at this time pending notification of his family.”In 2005, a Texas woman was killed at the Endymion Extravaganza. She fell from the Superdome’s second level to the floor while watching the parade. Copyright 2007 by WDSU.com. All rights reserved. T

Hancock businessman Compretta dies in accident

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Hancock businessman Compretta dies in accident


-- Hancock County businessman Jody Compretta died Saturday night in New Orleans as a result of an accident at the Endymion parade.

The Sun Herald has learned that Compretta, son of state Rep. J.P. Compretta, was reportedly riding on a float in the Krewe of Endymion parade. When the float stopped, Compretta got off, thinking the parade had ended. When the sectioned float began to move again, Compretta was knocked down and run over.

No other details are available at this time. Check back to sunherald.com for updates as details become available and in Monday's Sun Herald print edition for the full story.

Carnival parade float driver runs over brother

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Carnival parade float driver runs over brother

Carnival parade float driver runs over brother

2/2/2008, 10:35 p.m. CST The Associated Press

MAKSVILLE, La. (AP) — A 21-year-old driver towing a float in a Carnival parade ran over and killed his 16-year-old brother Saturday evening, state police said.

Clay Michael Sayer was between Kain N. Sayer's pickup truck and the float behind it, talking to riders on the float during a brief stop shortly before 5 p.m., according to a news release from Trooper Scott Moreau.

He said the younger Sayer was pinned by the float when the pickup truck started again.

Kain Sayer was booked with vehicular homicide — killing someone while driving drunk; first-offense drunk driving and careless driving, Moreau said.

The accident occurred about five miles north of the central Louisiana town of Marksville, a town of 5,800 about 75 miles northwest of Baton Rouge.

© 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Festival organizers aim for safety


Festival organizers aim for safety
Updated: 1/30/2008 4:36:15 PM
By: Veronica Castelo

Parade safety is a big concern.
Festivals are supposed to be fun, festive and care free.

Former Elgin City Manager Jack Harzke said he never worried about much when he used to help with the annual Western Days Festival.

"Our biggest fear was some kid getting hit by a candy being thrown off the float," Harzke said.

Today, Harzke said it's different.

"In recent times, there have been some sad accidents and some fatal accidents. People are more worried about the liability," Harzke said.

One accident on the minds of Central Texans occurred in Hutto in 2005. A settlement is now being finalized in the case of a 12-year old girl who died after falling off a float during a parade.

Gena Carter is the President of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce. She said reports of injuries at other festivals is one of many reasons organizers in Elgin are now on high alert.

"We want to make sure the participants are safe as well as
the people watching the parade," Carter said.

Carter said other festival organizers are also concerned. Some are doing away with activities that increase liability like skate boarding demonstrations and pony rides.

Some organizers are even paying up to $6,000 for insurance to avoid lawsuits, according to Bill McCrary, the chairperson of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce.

Elgin is turning to its residents for help.

"We're making sure we have enough volunteers to address those
concerns regarding setting up barricades, inspecting floats and
making sure everyone obeys the rules of the parade," McCrary said.

Carter said the city does not currently have enough volunteers.

"We just want to make it a safe event and as it grows and more people come, it's harder to address some of those issues," Carter said.

If people don't step up, Carter said the city will have to make some changes to its lineup. It may mean the 39th Annual
Western Days will be different, but Carter said it will be safe.

Western Days is scheduled for June 24 through the 28. The Chamber of Commerce will hold a meeting for anyone interested in volunteering next Tuesday. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the
Chamber office.

You can also call (512) 285-4515 for more information.