BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL) – Several children were injured after a ride crashed during a town block party in Big Stone Gap, Virginia Saturday, with one requiring surgery afterwards.
According to Big Stone Gap Town Manager Stephen Lawson, seven children from the ages of 8 to 14 were attending a block party downtown when they got into a barrel train ride driven by a part-time student worker with the town’s parks & recreation department.
The train and side-by-side ATV pulling it were both town equipment, Lawson said, and at some point during the ride the carts all overturned and spilled the children out onto the asphalt pavement below.
According to a police report written by a responding Big Stone Gap officer, witnesses at the scene said the driver had been traveling too fast before attempting a U-turn on Wood Avenue East. Some of the injured children also told officers that they had yelled for the employee to slow down while riding.
All children at the scene were taken to Lonesome Pine Hospital for evaluation directly after the incident, with one 12-year-old requiring ambulance transport to Johnson City for an emergency surgery to remove gravel from his knee. The other children were released from Lonesome Pine after treatment of minor injuries like road rash and bruising.
As of Sunday, Lawson said all of the involved children were resting at home and recovering from their injuries with no readmission to nearby hospitals for more care.
“Heartfelt sym[pathy] and our prayers go out to the parents and children involved in the incident,” Lawson said. “And we wish all involved a very speedy recovery.”
Lawson said that while Town Attorney Charles Bledsoe completes an internal investigation into the incident, the driver’s name will not be released by the town.
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