‘Freak accident’ causes abrupt end to Harvest Days parade

A 17-year-old female was injured after falling off an entry in the 2023 Harvest Days Parade Saturday in Battle Ground. Photo by Mike Schultz
A 17-year-old female was injured after falling off an entry in the 2023 Harvest Days Parade Saturday in Battle Ground. Photo by Mike Schultz

Unidentified teen female was injured after falling off parade entry

Leah Anaya
For Clark County Today

Fun at the Battle Ground Harvest Days parade was cut short Saturday morning when a near-tragedy took place just off of Main Street. About half the parade entries made it through the route before that event was brought to a halt. 

According to witnesses, a 17-year-old girl was riding on the top of an oversized Tapani, Inc. truck hauling an excavator. While the truck was just around the corner of Main Street on Parkway, near the 200 block of N. Parkway Avenue in Battle Ground, the girl stood up and fell all the way down to the ground, landing just in front of a rolling tire. Unfortunately, the vehicle didn’t have time to stop and about a quarter of the tire rolled over her before rolling back off.

A representative for Tapani Inc., Nick Hendershot, spoke with Clark County Today following the incident. Hendershot said that the girl was taken by ambulance from the parade to the hospital, where she remained Saturday evening. Hendershot said that the trailer went over the girl’s upper half, but not her head, and did not crush any vital organs. He said she was resting and in good spirits and suffered from several broken bones, bruises, and road rash.

“I’m with her right now,” Hendershot said during a phone call with Clark County Today. “We are so thankful that she is OK, and we appreciate all the thoughts and prayers from the community.”

Jake Best posted on a community Facebook Group that he was watching the parade and ran to be with the girl after she was run over. “I kept her awake. I kept her conscious, and made sure no one moved her,” he said. 

Witnesses said that a man ran to the end of Parkway onto Main Street after her fall and started yelling for the parade to stop. He also worked to clear people out of the street so medical units could make it through. According to witness Wendy Rush, of Battle Ground, one fire truck was able to make it through quickly in about two minutes, followed by several more trucks and an ambulance. Rush said that a group of young cheerleaders were behind the Tapani trucks and the little girls lined up along the fence to stay out of the way.

According to a report from the city of Battle Ground, parade goers alerted a Battle Ground Police Officer who was posted at a nearby parade route blockade.  The officer immediately contacted dispatch to request medical assistance as he began to render aid to the patient.  Medical personnel from Clark County Fire District 3 and American Medical Response arrived within minutes and took over patient care. 

“What a freak accident,” said one onlooker who asked to remain anonymous. “I heard a lot of the other floats telling their kids, “Please, stay sitting down!” when I was leaving. There was nothing that could have been done to stop it, it was just a freak accident.”

The city of Battle Ground report confirmed “the 17-year-old female patient was conscious and speaking on scene and was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries.’’  Her identity is not being released. 

“I would like to commend the members of the public for jumping into action when they witnessed this tragic event,” said Battle Ground Police Chief Mike Fort.  “Thanks to their swift action, and that of our officer and emergency medical personnel, the patient was able to receive care immediately.”

The Battle Ground Police Department is investigating this incident assisted by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit and Washington State Patrol.

Although the end of the parade was canceled, the rest of Harvest Days continued. The day was full of vendors, carnival rides, BBQ, a Tae Kwon Do demonstration, dance performances by The Studio Dance Company, and a talent show to cap it all off. 

Audience members for the talent show were able to purchase “stars” for their favorite talent performers for a “People’s Choice” award. The proceeds from that, which totaled over $130, was to be donated to Royal Ridges following the fire that burned down part of their horse barns and put one of their horses in the hospital.

Also read:

Receive comment notifications
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x