SLIDELL, La. -- One day after a collapsed float injured a woman in Slidell's St. Patrick's Day Parade, Mayor Freddy Drennan said he will take steps to insure parade safety.
Slidell Police have yet to release the name of the woman injured Sunday afternoon, describing her injuries as serious but not life-threatening. The accident happened at the corner of Robert and Second Street.
"We tried to make the turn and we heard one tire pop, and a second tire popped and all of a sudden, we just kind of collapsed," float rider Ashley Boos said Sunday. "It's scary. It's just really, really, really scary."
According to investigators, the second story of the float collapsed on the first.
"We've not had anything to this magnitude, where the side of a float actually collapsed and gave way and that let the top come off also, so we will be looking into the possibility of inspections," Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan said Monday. "I've already asked my staff to start looking around at other cities that have parades to see what kind of ordinances they have in place and how they handle those inspections and who's responsible for them."
For now, St. Tammany Parish has no rules or regulations regarding inspections, but other parishes do. Jefferson Parish, for instance, has detailed ordinance outlining size and structure requirements for parade floats. That ordinance includes a provision for inspections which reads as follows:
"Representatives of the fire department shall inspect each parade for which a permit has been issued to ascertain whether the provisions of this chapter have been observed. Additionally, if at any time during the parade, the fire department, sheriff's office, carnival and special events office or department of inspection and code enforcement determine that the physical or safety requirements of this chapter are not being observed, the particular float, truck-float, piece of equipment, other apparatus, group(s) or individual(s), may be removed from the parade."
"I don't think we're going to have to invent the wheel here," Mayor Drennan said. "I don't mind plagiarizing if someone else has a very successful program and successful ordinances in place and that's what we'll try and find out."