PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

December 7, 2008

Girl killed in Beaumont Christmas parade identified

BEAUMONT — An 11-year-old girl in a Christmas parade died Saturday when she jumped out of a pickup truck driving among the floats and was run over by a trailer carrying other children, police said.

According to witnesses, the victim, identified as 11 year old Aaliyah Carter, had jumped off of the 21 foot lowboy trailer/float and was running along beside it.  Apparently she lost her footing and fell.  The wheels of the trailer then ran over her causing severe head trauma.  An Acadian Ambulance was near the end of the route and transported Aaliyah to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 7:47 p.m. 

The girl had been jumping on and off during the parade route and was told to stop before falling and hitting her head, said Monica Smith, a Beaumont police dispatcher.

A number of parade watchers watched the accident unfold, Beaumont police officer Crystal Holmes said.

Stephanie Molina, who attended the parade but didn't see the accident, said the city had considered canceling the Christmas parade this year because of the destruction wrought to the area by Hurricane Ike. Molina works for the city's convention and visitor's bureau.

"We decided to do this for the community because we needed something positive," she said.

Hundreds attended the parade in downtown Beaumont. The grand marshall was former Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett, a native of nearby Port Arthur who was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down while attempting to make a tackle in a game last season.

The Christmas parade accident was the second this week in Texas. Ten members of a Cub Scout troop in Overton were injured Monday when they were struck by a pickup truck. The 82-year-old driver was charged with reckless driving.

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