DAMASCUS, Va. (TheBlaze/AP) — About 50 to 60 people were injured Saturday when a driver described by witnesses as an elderly man drove his car into a group of hikers marching in a parade in a small Virginia mountain town.
Washington County director of emergency management Pokey Harris said Saturday that no fatalities have been reported.
The injuries ranged from critical to superficial. Three of the victims were flown by helicopter to regional hospitals. Another 12 to 15 were taken by ambulance. The rest were treated at the scene in Damascus, about a half-hour east of Bristol.
A boy describes the scene he witnessed in the below video from Hot News Port:
The status of the driver wasn’t released. Multiple witnesses described him as an elderly man.
Authorities are still investigating, but Harris says they believe the man might have suffered a medical emergency before the accident.
The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. during the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus, near the Tennessee state line about a half-hour drive east of Bristol.
Witnesses said the car had a handicapped parking sticker and it went more than 100 feet before coming to a stop.
“He was hitting hikers,” said Vickie Harmon, a witness from Damascus. “I saw hikers just go everywhere.”
Damascus resident Amanda Puckett, who was watching the parade with her children, ran to the car, where she and others lifted the car off those pinned underneath.
“Everybody just threw our hands up on the car and we just lifted the car up,” she said.
There were ambulances in the parade ahead of the hikers and paramedics on board immediately responded to the crash.
This is a breaking news story. Updates will be added.