A horrific tragedy struck a small Michigan town during one of the most traditional activities associated with American high school sports on Friday when a 4-year-old boy was killed after falling during a school's homecoming parade and being crushed by a float.
As reported by the Associated Press and a handful of other Michigan news sources, 4-year-old Jordan Lamrouex was pronounced dead at a local hospital on Friday night after he was run over by a homecoming float in the Wyoming (Mich.) High homecoming parade on Friday, an event which was geared toward building up toward the annual Wyoming homecoming game.
"As soon as I was heading back and saw the students crying, I knew it was more than a student falling and bumping their head," Wyoming school Superintendent Thomas Reeder told The Grand Rapids Press, which first reported on the story. "The scene was just incredibly emotional and just crushing to see."
According to the AP, Lamrouex was riding on a float that was carrying hay and was attached to a tractor when he either fell off under his own power or fell while his parents attempted to remove him from the float. He was then run over by the rear portion of that very float itself, all under the watching gaze of thousands of Wyoming residents who had gathered to watch the first homecoming parade since the unification of the town's two schools -- Wyoming (Mich.) Park High and Wyoming (Mich.) Rogers High -- into one prep institution.
Naturally, the tragedy dramatically changed the tone of Friday's festivities, with a later moment of silence before Wyoming's football game against nearby Grand Rapids (Mich.) Creston High going only a small way toward emotional atonement for all those who witnessed the horrific scene.
"The mother was right there for it all. It was bad," Wyoming resident Jimmy Beukema, who was watching the parade and saw the incident unfold, told the AP. "Everyone was having a ball and it just stopped."