NORTH EAST - A mishap during a socially distanced birthday celebration in a community near North East over the weekend sent a woman to a regional hospital, according to the Cecil County Sheriff's Office.
The accident occurred at approximately 4:15 p.m. Sunday on Woodhome Way in the Villages of Elk Neck, off Racine School Road, southeast of North East, where - in parade fashion - friends and family were driving by the home of a girl who turned 16 to give her birthday greetings, reported Lt. Michael Holmes, a CCSO spokesman.
One of the vehicles in the convoy, a pickup truck, was traveling westbound on Woodhome Way with three passengers riding in the bed of the truck, police said. Because the incident remained under investigation late Monday afternoon, Holmes identified the pickup truck driver only as a 29-year-old man who lives near North East.
"The driver of (the pickup truck) accelerated, right as one of the occupants of the truck bed - a 56-year-old North East woman - stood up to wave to the birthday girl. At that point, the woman fell off the truck and onto the roadway," Holmes outlined.
An ambulance crew drove the injured woman to Christiana Hospital in Delaware, where she was treated for investigators described as "non-life-threatening" injuries, according to Holmes.
The parade of sorts had been organized to celebrate the girl's 16th birthday in a modified group setting - one in which well-wishers remained inside their vehicles to avoid violating a coronavirus-related gubernatorial order that calls for social distancing of at least six feet between people and of a similar directive that prohibits public gatherings of more than 10 people.
While empathizing with residents regarding the social restraints that have resulted from COVID-19, CCSO officials issued a caution for people who may plan alternative methods to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and such in the future.
"We understand that these are difficult times and that people cannot celebrate the way they were used to doing. But we stress that people must practice safety, as they find other ways to celebrate," Holmes said.