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Miss Oklahoma Injured During Miss America Parade

September 16, 1989

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Miss Oklahoma will compete in tonight’s Miss America Pageant despite suffering a concussion from a beer bottle thrown during a beauty parade, officials said.

Tamara Denise Toshiko Marler, 26, of Tulsa, was riding in the glitzy Miss America Parade down the famed Boardwalk Friday night when the bottle hit her in the forehead, said pageant director Leonard Horn.

″It was obviously some malicious moron who hoped he could hit something, and obviously he did,″ he said.

Miss Marler spent Friday night at the Atlantic City Medical Center, where she was being treated for the concussion and a slight bruise to her forehead, said hospital spokeswoman Sherry Spatz.

″If everything is OK as we expect it to be, she’ll be back″ for the pageant, Horn said.

The bottle did not cut Miss Marler, said Atlantic City police Detective Sgt. Sam Rando, who was with her in the emergency room.

″She was very calm,″ he said. ″She was aware of everything that was going on, answering the doctors who were asking her questions.″

But later, Miss Marler became dizzy when doctors asked her to walk around the emergency room, Ms. Spatz said.

If Miss Marler is able to compete tonight, doctors ″may, depending on her condition, ask her to refrain from wearing high heels,″ Ms. Spatz said.

The incident occurred around 9 p.m. as the convertible Miss Marler was riding in passed Texas Avenue. Miss Marler told the doctors that she did not black out when struck by the bottle.

Pageant officials delivered several large bouquets of flowers to Miss Marler’s room. Her mother spent the night with her in the hospital, Horn said.

Miss Marler became a likely top-10 semi-finalist after winning a preliminary talent competition on Wednesday. She sang an audience-grabbing rendition of ″Since I Fell For You.″

A recent marketing graduate of the University of Tulsa, she hopes someday to become a lawyer.

Horn said the decision to switch the parade from Tuesday to Friday did not change the mood of the crowd, but he said he might reconsider the parade’s future after the incident with Miss Marler.

In past years, some contestants have been injured in the parade by slipping or falling, but there has never been an incident as serious as the bottle- throwing, Horn said.

Several thousand people turned out to watch the parade.

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