Driver of parade entry cited after loss of control

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — During the beginning of the Gallipolis Christmas Parade Saturday around 1 p.m., a driver of a blue SUV reportedly lost control of the vehicle she was operating in the 600 block of Second Avenue after attempting to enter the parade lineup.

A GPD report gathered by the Gallipolis Daily Tribune stated that Susan Paulson, 73, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., part of an associated entry with a local chapter of the Marine Corps League, traveled southbound along the west Second Avenue sidewalk, reportedly striking a few walls which resulted in minor damage to the vehicle and structures. She was attempting to enter the parade from a 600-block business parking lot before the vehicle veered onto the sidewalk and drove roughly 280 feet before coming to a stop.

No one was harmed during the incident. Area residents have reported attempting to move out of the way of the vehicle. Paulson was cited with failure to control the vehicle.

Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer said that one of the department’s officers was on scene to witness and investigate the event.

A voluntary statement given by Paulson to the police said that she had attempted to join the parade before losing control of the vehicle and it traveling down the sidewalk, with Paulson saying she attempted to get it to stop but was unable to do so. She was uncertain how she had gotten the vehicle to stop and claimed the vehicle had taken off by itself. She said she was unfamiliar with the SUV and had never driven it before.

The Mason-Gallia-Meigs Detachment of the Marine Corps League is a familiar sight to parade goers across the tri-county region and the group is involved in veterans activities and volunteerism.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.

By Dean Wright