Egg hunt nearly turns tragic

WELLSVILLE – A sunny, springtime Easter egg hunt nearly became the backdrop for tragedy on Saturday afternoon, when an SUV plowed into the event at Nicholson Stadium in Wellsville.

According to witnesses, the maroon Oldsmobile Bravada came up from the creekfield area onto 20th Street at a high rate of speed. The driver lost control of the vehicle, crashing through a chain-link fence surrounding the Nicholson Stadium field, where a children’s Easter egg hunt was being held by the Wellsville Y-Teens.

The eggs had already been retrieved, and most the children had migrated away from the 20th Street area, though a few were still wandering around the grounds when the vehicle came careening through the fence. No one was struck, however, and there were no injuries reported.

“They do that all the time, they come flying out, spinning wheels,” said witness Kathy Joy. After crashing through the gate, the driver of the SUV pulled around near the shot put throwing area of the field and attempted to leave, almost striking a small boy who was nearby. A bundle of fencing that had been torn down became lodged in the SUV’s front wheels, however, immobilizing the vehicle.

“We all tried to rush over here to get him,” Joy said, fearing that the vehicle would run over the scattered children on his way out. Jeff Fisher, whose grandchildren were at the egg hunt, said he was one of the people who prevented the driver from fleeing on foot. “I opened the door and I told him to get out,” Fisher said.

Numerous unidentified pills were discovered on the ground near the remaining length of fence on 20th street, and were collected by Wellsville Police as evidence. Witnesses stated that the driver appeared to be intoxicated and, once he was stuck in the field, began taking pills.

The driver, whose identity has not been released, was arrested by Wellsville police at the scene and taken to the station for questioning. His name was not available.