The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 5, 2013

UPDATE: Father of boy killed in Edmond parade was driving float

Wire reports

EDMOND, Okla. — Edmond police say the Fourth of July float that ran over and killed an 8-year-old was being driven by the boy’s father.

The Oklahoma medical examiner’s office identified the child Friday as 8-year-old Aiden Hooper.

Edmond Police Officer James Hamm said the boy was pronounced dead after life-saving efforts at the OU Medical Center Presbyterian Tower trauma center.

“Our hearts go out to the boy’s family, friends and all those who were involved,” Hamm said.

Police say they don’t expect the father to face any charges.

The boy was riding on a martial arts studio's entry consisting of a pickup and a flatbed trailer, Hamm said. It was in a line of entries near Ayers and Baumann, approaching the route exit, when the boy either got off or fell off the trailer, which rolled over him, Hamm said.

Hamm said the driver likely was not immediately aware of what happened behind him and did not do anything wrong. A parade-goer told one of the nearby police officers working the event assistance was needed.

Edmond Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said officers were unable to speak to the driver Thursday because he went to the Oklahoma City hospital where the boy was pronounced dead.

Traffic investigators will give the boy's family some emotional space before conducting that part of the formal inquiry, Hamm said. Hamm, who has worked the parade annually since he joined the Edmond Police Department 13 years ago, said nothing close to this has happened in LibertyFest history.

LibertyFest is an all-volunteer led organization that puts on a week’s worth of Fourth of July events in Edmond. Those events include an annual car show, rodeo, KiteFest, Taste of Edmond, ParkFest, the Miss LibertyFest pageant and the annual Fireworks show in addition to the parade.

Mayor Charles Lamb said the city is saddened by the tragic loss of life.

 “(It’s) a tragedy for all of us on this day of national celebration,” Lamb said. “My heart goes out to all the volunteers who work so hard to put this event together as I know they feel great pain about this. Cheri and I grieve for the family over this tragic accident and their loss.”