Three People Struck By Minivan At Parade

One Woman Seriously Hurt In Newburyport Accident

Newburyport police are investigating to see whether mechanical difficulties caused a 91-year-old driver to lose control of his minivan and hit three people watching the Newburyport homecoming parade on Sunday afternoon.

The crash happened around 2:17 p.m.”People were screaming and then the car just kept accelerating, probably about 45 mph,” eyewitness Karen Jansen said.Police said Harold Teague, 91, of Newburyport, had just passed Kent Street and pulled onto High Street in his red minivan just as the parade was wrapping up.Authorities said he somehow accelerated and struck three people, including a husband and wife, who were walking across a crosswalk at the parade, before the van crossed into the opposite lane of traffic.

“He accelerated. He hit her head on. She kind of flew in the air and landed on the hood of the car and then fell in the road, and then the tire of his car brushed the side of her head and then kind of hit her head. And then he really accelerated across the street and hit (a) rock here,” Jansen said.

Teague’s vehicle came to a rest on a boulder on the opposite side of the street.”It was just amazing that nobody else was seriously hurt because the parade route was lined with just hundreds of people,” said eyewitness Alan Gamble, who took pictures and video of the scene.

Witnesses said the woman got up after being hit but was told to lie down while she was checked out by emergency personnel.She was listed in serious but stable condition at a local hospital. Her husband was treated and released for his injuries. Another person who was hit refused treatment.

Investigators planned to inspect Teague’s vehicle Monday to see if there were problems with the accelerator.Teague’s son was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash, but he said he had no idea what happened.Police filed a request with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to suspend Teague’s license. It was unclear, however if he would face any charges or citations in connection with the crash.

“He knew that he lost control, but why, he couldn’t say,” Newburyport police Sgt. Peter Finnegan said.