Thursday, July 17, 2008

1ID Band Members injured

It's a blessing no one was killed...can't even imagine what it would have been like. Scott was not hurt, but 3 soldiers were, and 2 tubas and a trumpet were destroyed.

See the video HERE

Read the AP story below....

Parachutist lands in band at Fort Riley ceremony


Associated Press Writer

- A civilian parachutist and three members of a military band were injured Thursday in a mishap during opening ceremonies at a 1st Infantry Division review.

Several thousand people watched the first of two parachutists landed successfully but the second one dropped on the 30-member division band, about 50 yards off target. A gasp went up from the crowd, followed by silence as a few rushed over to help.

"I hear, 'Oh, expletive,' and immediately, I hear a crash,'" said the band's commander, Chief Warrant Officer Scott MacDonald.

One band member was knocked unconscious and another had neck and head pain. Post spokeswoman Deb Skidmore said both were released after treatment at Irwin Army Community Hospital.

The third injured band member originally was thought to have a sprained ankle but Skidmore said that person suffered a broken leg and remained at the hospital Thursday afternoon.

Fort Riley didn't release their identities, citing federal restrictions designed to protect patient privacy.

None of the injuries were considered life-threatening. The jumper refused medical treatment, said Mike Keating, assistant chief of the post's Fire Department.

"We know that they're going to be all right," said Gen. Charles Campbell, head of the Army's Forces Command, which handles personnel, said during opening remarks for the ceremony.

MacDonald said band members were standing, waiting for the start of the ceremony and weren't looking up. He said they didn't hear anything except a brief rustling of the jumper's red, white and blue parachute just before he hit the band.

He hit the back row of the band, feet first, at about 50 mph, MacDonald said. He was about 50 yards from a grove of trees, buildings and tanks and armored personnel carriers on display.

"You can't hear anything when there's someone coming overhead," MacDonald said.

The two parachutists jumped from a small, single-engine plane at about 6,000 feet. Keating said the second jumper's parachute lines apparently became tangled, pulling him off course.

"Two tubas were destroyed," Keating said. Also, MacDonald said, a trumpet was damaged.

After the accident, MacDonald wondered briefly whether he had enough members left to perform or whether the band would have to resort to recorded music.

"We did soldier on," he said. The band played the division's and the Army's fight songs, then sounded a trumpet cavalry charge.

The band's history includes an incident known as "Thunder Road" from the Vietnam War, in which the 1st Division's commander ordered it to march and play over a mile-long stretch of highway separating American and North Vietnamese troops. The display confused the North Vietnamese troops and led them to withdraw without shots being fired.

"We might have to revise that 'Thunder Road' story with the parachute jump of 2008," MacDonald said.

The accident briefly delayed the start of a ceremony marking a change of command for the 1st Division and Fort Riley. The change of command occurred during the first "Victory Week" celebrating the 1st Division's history.

Following that event was the dedication of Victory Park, honoring veterans and soldiers who have fought and died in wars dating to World War I. The 1st Division is the Army's oldest, having formed in 1917.

Mechanical problems kept the dedication's featured speaker, Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, from flying to Kansas for the ceremony. Odierno is the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.


Barbara said...

A couple things here: First, I wouldn't want to get hurt in the band because I noticed that most of them were just standing around like, "Duh!" after it happened! And two, go Scott for getting in the paper!

BTW, I'm glad no one was seriously hurt!

Suzanne said...

Wow, that is just crazy! I wouldn't think that one parachutist could do that much damage, but I guess he can! That's crazy! I'm glad it wasn't worse! And we thought banding in the states was safe. Hmm.

saintseester said...

I had read about that earlier. Is that your guy? It's amazing the injuries weren't worse when you think about how fast that parachuter came in.

rennratt said...


I would have thrown up, passed out, run away...

Not necessarily in that order, either.

I'm glad to see that no one was seriously injured.

Kim said...

Wow. Glad no one was more seriously injured. Glad Scott is okay as well. That's wild!

The Mrs. said...

Hope the injured guys are feeling better. The tuba and the trumpet will be forever remembered. : )

pcguy said...

As a skydiver, I would never let my kids play in a band-its way too dangerous.