A hot rod in the downtown Waco Veterans Day Parade lurched out of control during the event Friday, striking three participants and sending one for medical treatment. The injuries did not look serious, according to a Waco Police spokesman and witnesses on the scene.
"It appears that the injuries are minor at this point," Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said in a press release.
Officers responded to the incident at about noon near Eighth Street and Austin Avenue.
Judy Taft, who was watching her grandson march with the Midway High School band, said she saw a woman helping hold a banner get struck from behind and fall back over the vehicle.
"I believe everybody is going to be OK, but it looked very scary," said Taft, whose husband, Barry, is a Vietnam veteran.
She said the vehicle made a "screeching sound" just before it struck three parade participants. Witnesses said the vehicle had slowed to allow a drill team from University High School to complete a performance.
Several people watching the parade hurried to the side of a participant clipped by the vehicle, Taft said. One man who was hit walked to an ambulance but indicated he was not seriously hurt, Taft said.
A witness said the man gave a thumbs-up as he was being loaded in the ambulance.
Robinson resident Hannah Cook was attending the parade with her husband, their son and their 3-year-old niece.
"The car revved, and the driver had a look of terror on his face. He couldn't get stopped, and he seemed mortified," Cook said. "I've never seen anything like that."
The parade was delayed for about 20 minutes while police and emergency medical personnel tended to the people who were hit, Swanton said. The three people hit were walking with the car that hit them, Swanton said.
Friday night, Swanton said officers indicated the driver of the vehicle may have popped his clutch inadvertently, but that the investigation continues.
"It does not appear there was intent or horseplay, but until we know more, we will say the investigation is ongoing," Swanton said.
Swanton again said the injuries were minor.