There were some terrifying moments during the Murrells Inlet Christmas parade Sunday when an 8-year-old girl was run over by a float.
The accident happened at about 3:50 p.m. Sunday. She is now recovering from her injuries.
The girl was on a float sponsored by Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital.
South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Corporal Judd Jones said the girl fell off the float but on Monday the girl’s father, Joshua Keith, told Inlet Outlook’s news partner WBTW-TV 13 how it happened.
“She was throwing candy out, and reached down to get candy to throw out, and toppled over. When she toppled over, that’s whenever the trailer ran over her pelvic area,” he said.
Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital manager Jennifer Hoffman said there happened to be an orthopedic surgeon near the scene of the accident who helped care for the girl until EMS arrived. She said the girl was able to communicate with the doctor because she never lost consciousness.
She was transported to Waccamaw Community Hospital and was later flown to the Medical University of South Carolina.
She spent Sunday night in the pediatric trauma center.
Hoffman said the girl — a Waccamaw Elementary student — will need to be in a wheelchair for a while but is expected to recover. The girl’s father agreed.
“She is the toughest kid I have ever seen, and she is very blessed. There was no damage to her spine, her back, her neck. She’s been very blessed,” Keith said.
Lisa Howard was watching the parade with her two children, ages 5 and 11, and witnessed the accident.
She said when the girl fell she rolled under the tire well of the float.
She said the crowd panicked and were screaming.
“It was awful,” she said. She said her youngest daughter has not said a lot about the incident but her 11-year-old was shaken up over the ordeal.
Jones said no charges are expected to be filed against the driver.
Sue Sledz of Murrells Inlet 2020 said the organization’s thoughts and prayers are with the girl and her family.
“It was an accident. Our focus is first, foremost and only on the well-being of the child. Our thoughts and prayers are with the young girl and her family. The parade rules and regulations state that each participant is responsible for the safety of their members and the spectators and that no actions should be taken that would endanger members of the parade group or the spectators. It was an accident. Please, let’s stay focused on the child’s well-being,” Sledz said.
By Scott Harper
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