Family, strangers rally together after Oregon parade death
Jul. 18, 2017
BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — A small eastern Oregon city's parade this past weekend started out as a celebration, but ended in devastation.
Baker City was rocked to its core when Dylan Thomas fell off a float and later died at a hospital — on his seventh birthday.
Dylan's family has since received an outpouring of support from the community, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2u5sHjP ) Monday.
His mother, Megan Thomas, said vigils, a fundraiser and a memorial service have brought the already tight-knit community even closer together.
"I don't even know how to describe it," Thomas said. "I've gotten an outpouring of support. The response from everyone in the whole, entire community has been so supportive."
Dylan was sitting on a float with his 10-year-old sister when he fell and was struck by the vehicle's rear wheels. He died later at a nearby hospital.
Thomas said her son was "a loving, energetic little boy who loved life and would do anything to make anyone smile."
"He could put a smile on anyone's face, even a stranger," Thomas said.
Dylan was born in Klamath Falls and lived in Oregon his whole life, she said.
Dylan had played soccer with the local YMCA, which sponsored the parade float he was on. He had just finished first grade.
Chaplains and mental health workers were available to counsel those who witnessed or were otherwise affected by the death, authorities said.
Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner, who was leading the parade with his grandchildren in tow when the accident happened, called the boy's death a "tragic accident."
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com