Parades are supposed to be fun, happy events filled with bright colors, good music, and a strand of beads or two. But when merriment and moving vehicles are involved, there’s always a chance that things can go horribly wrong. These parade float accidents prove that even really, really slow moving objects can be deadly. Parade float deaths can be caused by falling under the wheels of the float, getting caught between the float and the car that’s pulling it, or even running into power lines and electrocuting dozens of people at the same time. (That freak accident has happened twice!)
Some parade deaths are harder to prevent- like when a float gets caught on train tracks in front of an oncoming train, or when the driver of a tiny parade “shriner” car loses control and slams into a child.
Add alcohol, and parades get even more dangerous. Mardi Gras is that time of year where drunken people and crazy floats crowd the streets. It's a mosh pit of colors, dance and revelry and, sometimes, a fatal parade accident or two. Then there’s St. Patrick’s Day, where some people like to throw vegetables and unsuspecting attendees. Or Fourth of July, when the crowds add fireworks into the drunken, scary mix. Because fire, alcohol, and reckless driving are what America is all about.Here are craziest, most brutal parade float accidents that have ever taken place. They’ll probably make you think twice about getting too close to that benign looking float next time.
16 Killed in Haitian Carnival Horror Story
An "electrical shock" killed at least 16 people during Carnival celebration in 2015 in Haiti. The victims had been dancing on a parade float in Port-au-Prince when it hit electrical wires, sending a burst of electricity directly into the gigantic crowd. 78 other people were injured. All other Carnival activities were cancelled and Haiti declared three days of morning.(Source)
Crowd Electrocuted, 17 Dead
Some parades are shocking. The colors, craftsmanship, and message can often be attention-grabbing as well.
On February 28, 2011, a high-voltage power line fell on top of a dancing pre-Carnival street parade in the town of Bandeira do Sul in rural Brazil.
Witnesses said the line sparked and fell after either being hit by the metallic streamers so often used in Carnival parades or being hit by fireworks. A total of 16 people died and at least 54 other people were injured. Police said that most of the people in the crowd were hit by the line, but even if they didn't, it was possible that the current passed from person to person since there was so many people there in direct contact with each other.
All this took place in the town's main plaza, for everyone to see in absolute horror.
After the accident, there was no electricity and phone service in the entire town for at least six hours and people just wandered around the dark square in disbelief.Source
Pluto Dies in Dreams Can Come True Parade
Not every day is the happiest day on earth at Disney World. In fact, some days are horrible, horrible nightmares (and not just for the parents paying for all the tickets, food and "necessities.")
Take, for example, February 12, 2004 when a cast member dressed as Pluto was struck and run over by a float.
The victim was Javier Cruz, a 38-year-old man who worked as Pluto in the Share a Dream Come True parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Cruz was run over by a float at the very start of the parade, near the "parade step-off."
His right foot got caught between two sections of the Princess Float and he fell underneath the vehicle.
The driver of the float had no knowledge of this since he couldn't see anything behind him from where he was seated, but the woman playing Ariel attempted to save Cruz by pounding on the vehicle.
However, nothing could have been done because after Disney workers lifted the float off of Javier using a forklift and hydraulic jaws of life, Javier and thus PLUTO was dead in front of plenty of parade goers.
Any kids who saw this didn't only see a man actually lose his life, but to some people, Pluto actually died that day.(Image, Source)
Driver Runs Over Brother at Carnival Parade
It's the age old story of brother against brother and, what do you know, the brother's name here is Kain. Irony at its worst.
Celebrating his first Carnival parade as a legal drinker, 21-year-old Kain N. Sayer was having a grand time towing a float in Marksville, Louisiana in 2008.
He made a brief stop in his truck at around 5pm and his younger brother, Clay Michael Sayer was talking to riders on the float. Clay, however, made the mistake of standing between his brother's pickup truck and the float that was behind it. When Kain started the truck again, he didn't notice his brother there (or maybe that much of anything after a few drinks) and proceeded driving, pinning Clay with the float. Clay, who was 16-years-old, died then and there.
Kain Sayer was charged with vehicular homicide, drunken driving and careless operation.Source