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Dune Buggy Hits Crowd at Shriners Parade

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WDEF TV - Chatanooga Tennessee

Dune Buggy Hits Crowd at Shriners Parade


August 11, 2007

by Abena Williams

Witness Anne Rittenberry, "Those little dune buggy things were going around and around and around in all these formations."

Anne Rittenberry watched as a crowd of parade-goers scattered after two vehicles spun out of control. The Shriners parade had just started down Market St. Shriners

Mrs. Rittenberry says people were sitting on the curb watching drivers show off their crowd pleasing maneuvers. That's when something went wrong. The red dune buggy rammed into the yellow vehicle, propelling it into the crowd.

Rittenberry, "They were going so fast and we were frightened enough by it that we moved back, what I saw was the action of the car going this way and then all the people start screaming and running down this way."

Eight people were injured. Two children, ages 3 and 7, and three adults were taken to the hospital. They suffered leg injuries and are in stable condition. Shriners

Sgt. Jerri Weary of the Chattanooga police department says it's too soon to tell but charges could be filed.

Weary, "There are a lot of witnesses to interview, it will really depend on the injuries of the victims, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault by motor vehicle."

Sgt. Weary says parade drivers must register their vehicles with the event promoter.

Weary, "For a parade of that size and given the street, it wasn't wise for the vehicles to be driving in the conditions that they were." Shriners

Witnesses say they're just disappointed to see this popular family event end this way.

Rittenberry, "It was very terrifying and very sad."

Further Reading:

The Royal Order of Jesters - The Shriners Secret Society Secret Society - 'Mirth is King'

The Shriners - The 'Krafty' Klowns