Veteran killed in parade accident
Victim hit by van driven by friend
WHITMAN, Massachusetts (AP) -- An 80-year-old veteran of World War II was killed Thursday morning when a van backed over him as he prepared to march in a Veterans Day parade.
Witnesses said William Hammond, captain of the parade's color guard, was lining up with fellow veterans at the start of the parade route when the van struck him.
The van, owned by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, was driven by a close friend of Hammond. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for emotional distress.
"It's devastating," said Richard Slowey, adjutant of VFW Post 697. "Bill is a very warm and very kind person."
Hammond, who served in the infantry, had fought in the Battle of the Bulge, according to Robert Wessa, the post's junior vice commander. He was a past commander of the post and stayed active, traveling to a school with Wessa last week to talk about Veterans Day.
Wessa said he was in a different part of the parade and no idea anything had happened until he noticed that a group of marchers hadn't started.
Wessa remembered Hammond as a strong leader and good friend. He was still an avid motorcyclist and completed a road trip around Canada and the United States when he was in his late 70s.
"He was quite a guy," Wessa said. "It's a sad day."
KD EDITORIAL:OK NOW MY FIRST REACTION WAS LAFFING AND ILL DO IT SOME MORE.. HAHAHHHAHAAHHHAHA, I MEAN SERIOUSLY TO GET KILLED ON YOUR DAY OFF TO BE SALUTED BY YOUR FRIENDS. I MEAN SHIT HE GOT RAN OVER BY HIS FRIEND!I THINK IT WAS A CONSPIRACY.. THE OLD MAN DIDNT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON . I BET HIS FAMILY MADE HIM DRESS IN THAT 'TARD WW2 OUTFIT MAKING HIM RELIVE HIS HORROR DAYS OF WAY AND KILLING GERMANS AND INNOCCENT OTHERS THAT WERE AGAINST THE WAR... AS WELL AS HE WAS 80. PROLLY HAD LIKE ALTZIMERS... SO WHAT WAS HE DOING AT THIS PARADE, GO CELEBRATE AT HOME AND BLOW OUT CANDLES CUZ ITS YOUR FAKE B-DAY....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!