Tragedy Strikes Damascus' Trail Days

Photo by Robert Sutherland

Trail Days -- America's largest Appalachian Trail celebration -- turned into a surreal daze for those enjoying the annual festivities in the pleasant village of Damascus, VA, when a car drove into celebrants walking in the annual Hiker's Parade.

Early reports said 50-60 people suffered various injuries from being struck by a large green Cadillac with handicap license plates driven by an elderly man. The vehicle veered into the parade route from a side street around 2:30 PM on Saturday, May 18, 2013.

Paramedics, already on hand for the expected crowd of up to 20,000 visitors, responded immediately.

Washington County Virginia's Director of Emergency Management Pokey Harris says no fatalities have been reported.

Three victims were flown by helicopter and 12-15 others were driven by ambulance to regional hospitals. The rest were treated at the scene.

Pokey Harris says the investigation has just begun, but the driver might have suffered some sort of medical emergency prior to the accident. His medical status was not immediately available, but he was transported from the scene of the accident by an emergency vehicle.

Damascus is just north of the Tennessee border, about a half-hour from Bristol.

We will update this story as details become available.

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Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, Appalachian Trail Community, News, Festivals, Accidents, and US Forest Service

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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