Year after Cub Scout parade accident, Overton residents reflect

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

OVERTON, TX (KLTV) - It started as a holiday celebration and quickly turned tragic. Just shy of a year ago, a group of East Texas Cub Scouts were run down as they were lining up to march in the Overton-New London Christmas Parade.

Monday night, the streets of downtown Overton are shut down again, and the East Texas Area Boy Scout Council says there are Scouts in this year's parade, but they will be on a float.

And, while no one wants a repeat of last year's freak accident, the memories and the lessons are still fresh many people's minds, after 12 people, including 10 Cub Scouts, were injured after getting hit by a truck.

Last year, we met Jonathan Hughes, who was getting used to a new set of crutches. Jonathan suffered a badly sprained ankle.

"We're alright now," said Elizabeth McAllister, Jonathan's mom. "He was up an running within about a month and a half."

She says he is no longer in Scouts, but maybe next year. As for the accident, she says there is no sense in holding hard feelings.

"Even if there had been extra people there, who's to say it could have been prevented all together?" said McAllister.

Police say an 83-year-old man drove around one of the barricades and ran into the boys.

"It's made us all aware that, regardless of how hard we try to protect the people, something can happen," said B.J. Potts, Overton's City Manager.

Potts says, this year, additional barricades will block the streets, just like last year.

"When you have children involved, it's tough on everybody," said Potts.

The city's small police force will also have more help, this year. He says officers from area departments are volunteering, along with local volunteer firefighters, and city staff.

"Everybody's kind of taking a part...and we're going to make sure that we can just have a good safe event this year," said Potts.

"We don't want that to happen and again, and good Lord willing, it won't," he said.

There was some legal action taken against the city following the accident. The city manager says that all the charges against the city have been dropped.

The family of Colby Brooks, another Cub Scout who spent a month in a Dallas hospital with severe head and neck injuries says that while he is not at this year's parade, he is still scouting and doing much better.

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