|Mishaps, Deaths Dampen July 4 Celebrations|
|By KEVIN DOLAK (@kdolak) and ALEXIS SHAW (@ashaw109)||Jul 5, 2013, 1:59 AM|
While many Americans around the country rang in the Fourth of July at beaches and barbeques, parade accidents and fireworks mishaps caused some Independence Day celebrations to turn tragic.
An 8-year-old boy riding atop a float died after his father accidentally ran him over at an Edmond, Okla., parade, Edmond Police Department Officer James Hamm told ABCNews.com.
Aidon Hooper was riding on a martial arts group's float when he either got off or fell off the float on Thursday, Hamm said. When the truck pulling the float started moving, Aidon was pulled underneath the trailer's wheels and run over.
Aidon's father, Quinton Hooper, 43, was driving the truck pulling the float, Hamm said.
The boy suffered severe head injuries and was taken to Oklahoma University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Hamm said.
Meanwhile, a Bangor, Maine, Independence Day parade was rerouted after a man engaged police in a four-hour standoff before the town's celebration Thursday morning.
Perrin Oliver, 43, of Bangor was taken to Penobscot County Jail and charged with criminal threatening, and aggravated reckless conduct with a firearm after he allegedly fired an estimated 70 shots at officers from his apartment, ABC Bangor, Maine affiliate WVII-TV reported.
But even after Oliver's arrest, the parade turned deadly after a man driving a tractor was fatally struck by a vintage fire truck.
The tractor's driver fell into the oncoming truck and was crushed beneath it, WVII-TV reported. He died instantly.
"Let's be thankful for what we have today which is independence, and keep those less fortunate, and without, on this day close to our hearts," Sgt. Paul Edwards wrote on the Bangor Police Department's Facebook page.
The accident is currently under investigation.
A fire at a Seattle marina caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage to 14 boats at a boat storage facility, sending clouds of black smoke into the sky minutes before a fireworks show, Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore told ABCNews.com.
Moore said someone set off an illegal firework that landed in the storage facility. The fire spread within a matter of minutes, and it took 65 firefighters nearly an hour to quell the flames, he said.
In addition, a fireworks accident in a town northwest of Los Angeles has left at least 28 people injured after an "unintended" detonation shot fireworks into a crowd during the Fourth of July display.
The incident occurred Thursday night in Simi Valley, Calif., about 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Between 8,000 and 10,000 revelers were settling into their seats when a platform holding live fireworks tipped over, sending the pyrotechnics into the crowd.
Authorities estimated that people were about 900 feet from where the fireworks were being launched.
"Everybody started screaming and everything that was supposed to happen didn't happen," eyewitness Joanne Herrera told ABC News. "It was pretty frightening. And a block of wood … came shooting down into the side of my leg."
Rancho Santa Susana Community Park was evacuated and the show was halted after the incident, which took place at about 9:30 p.m.
Of the 28 injured, four were considered seriously injured, according to Cmd. Stephanie Shannon of the Simi Valley Police Department.
During the incident, fireworks ordnance -- the actual firework container with the explosive material and fuse -- were fired into the crowd. The injuries were consistent with projectile-type wounds, with shrapnel projected into victims' bodies.
"We saw at least two or three fireworks go sideways, horizontally and explode," said J.T. Alpaugh, a KABC-TV reporter who was watching the display with family. "And then it seemed like the barrage of fireworks started exploding at the base of the park, right near the soccer field at ground level.
Now, obviously, fireworks are designed to go up 200 feet in the air and explode. And we realized immediately that something was terribly, terribly wrong."
After the incident, fireworks were still on the field. Authorities evacuated the field, and waited for the Ventura County Fire Department bomb squad to respond to deactivate the unexploded fireworks.
The fire department said the injured were transported to Simi Valley Hospital, Las Robles Regional Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital.
"We're still in the process of sorting out exactly what happened and treating the injured and evacuating them to area hospitals," John Parks, the watch commander at the Simi Valley police department, said late Thursday.
Many of the injured were wrapped up with gauze with what appear to be burn-like injuries, and were being brought into ambulances with IV bags.
Police said fireworks accidentally detonated during the display. Precautionary measures taken ahead of the fireworks display were key to a quick response after the incident, Parks said.
"We had about 40 police personnel on scene, as well as fire and ambulance people who were staged at the part of the fireworks production for crowd and traffic control and security. So the response was really rapid and the people that were injured were attended to very quickly," he said.
Bay Fireworks, the company that put on the display, said in a statement that it "deeply regrets that people were injured."
The company asked people injured in the accident to contact the Simi Valley Rotary Club to get the contact information for the Bay Fireworks' insurance company representative, a statement said.
Bay Fireworks said it plans to conduct a full investigation of the fire accident, according to the statement.
The Independence Day event was sponsored by the support of the Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District.
ABC News' Alex Stone and Rebecca Lee contributed to this report.