Madison Regatta tragedy

The Madison Regatta ended on an extremely surreal note today as a car traveling at high speed crashed through the crowd at the Madison Regatta and ended up in the Ohio River.

The driver barreled down Jefferson Street past our building and plowed through the Regatta gates, into the spectator area and ended up in the river. 11 were injured, four air-flighted to Louisville hospitals including the driver.

They quickly cleared the accident scene that was two blocks from our building.

Our friend was a gate guard for the Regatta. He told Darlene he was three feet away from the car as it “mowed people down.”

I’m now hearing the driver claims to have passed out at the wheel. The Louisville Courier-Journal was the first with web coverage.

update: A news conference reports the driver an 18-year-old Madison man—-Matt- Michael Bowen. Four people including one youth was critically injured and air-flighted to Louisville. 11 treated overall. Considering I am amazed at how few people were injured.

update: The AP article was on the front page of the NY Times website. What a way to make national news.

Witness David Edds, of Owensboro, Ky., told The Associated Press he heard a loud noise and saw a car in the air. ‘’I saw one young lady just frozen in her path, just standing at the water’s edge and the car ran directly over the top of her,’’ he said.

Spectators rushed to help the injured, Edds said.
‘’There was just a trail of folks laying on the ground in the path of where the car had gone,’’ he said.”

To be on the safe side, I heard they are searching the river for anyone that might have been dragged in by the accident. They’re going to hold another press conference at City Hall tomorrow morning.

Earlier in the event, the Miss Madison (U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto) barely avoided crashing into the starting line flag boat. Mark Campbell of the Madison Courier snagged a photo.

correction I miswrote the driver’s name. My apologies.