Tragedy at Trail Days

18 May

As previously mentioned, my Dad picked me up from the Trail yesterday and brought me to Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia – an annual festival that celebrates the famed Appalachian Trail and the hikers who hike it.

Well today was an eventful one at Trail Days. My Dad and I were standing across from the Dollar General looking at the head of the annual hiker parade:


When an elderly man had a “medical incident” of some sort and plowed into the back of the parade – right where my 2013 thru-hiking class was walking. (Thank goodness I opted out of walking in the parade, as my Dad of course wanted me to do.)

Various and sundry news outlets from the Wall Street Journal to BBC to the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that 50-60 hikers were injured with 3 being airlifted to the hospital and 12-15 taken via ambulance.

The news from ground zero is a bit brighter. 50-60 is a tad overblown, and none of the injuries are life-threatening. Fortunately, my friend Rainbow Bright only has a broken toe. That is pretty good for getting legit run over – to the point where hikers had to pick up the car to get her out. But here she is tonight (She’s in the middle; Willow – on the left – also got tapped by the car but is good):


[See the CNN article here.]


Of course, my heart goes out – wholly and sincerely – to the driver and the injured hikers.

With that being said, I tread lightly…

For perhaps it is too soon to find even the slightest of smiles in this tragic story, but I could not help but read some of the 1000+ comments on the CNN story. A sampling:

Joan: What happened? Is this another old geeser who should have stopped driving 10 years ago? Or do we need to ban assault vehicles now?

ColossalFart: it’s probably something really stupid like somebody texting

Poopy McNuggets: old people don’t know how to text

Juan Cabrillo: It was an old guy. The car in the picture is a classic old person car. The kind that just needs a prop and rudder and it’s a boat.

AngryChair: How do you hit 50 or 60 people with one car? My car can only run over about 10 people before it gets stuck.

Hans Frypan: CNN, why don’t you try this headline: Fossil Drives Large Assault Car at Hiker Parade.

2 Responses to “Tragedy at Trail Days”

  1. Anonymous May 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    So glad you, Willow, and Rainbow Bright are all okay!

    • Coosa May 19, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      GREAT to hear from someone who was there … so many stories flying around … I hope that y’all are able to continue on … but remember, if you decide to take some time off to heal and recuperate, ‘there’s always next year’ … whatever y’all decide … Hike Your Own Hike.

      What stories you’ll have to tell your families and your children and grandchildren.

      God Bless, Coosa

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