Drone Crashes, Hits 2 People During Marblehead Parade

By Ryan Kath, WBZ-TV

MARBLEHEAD (CBS) – A drone flying above a Memorial Day parade crowd lost control, crashed into a building, and landed on a man’s head.

Luckily, the incident only left Scot Yount with minor injuries. But the Marblehead resident knows the story could have had a much different ending.

UPDATE: FAA Investigating Drone Crash

Moments earlier, Yount had been holding his one-year-old daughter, Ellery. Like other parade attendees, he noticed the tiny aircraft hovering above the crowd, capturing video of the festivities.

Yount passed Ellery to his wife and continued watching the parade in front of a toy store at the corner of Washington St and Pleasant St.

Scot Yount and his daughter Ellery (WBZ-TV)

Scot Yount and his daughter Ellery (WBZ-TV)

“And then I heard people yell and felt this clunk on my head and the back of my neck,” Yount told WBZ. “I realized I just got hit by the thing.”

On Monday afternoon, Yount had a bandage covering a cut on his neck, likely caused by one of the drone propellers. But he refused medical treatment, along with another bystander who had the drone ricochet off her shoulder.

No charges will be filed. Police Chief Bob Picariello told WBZ no permits are required to fly the drone.

Yount is a former television news journalist in the Boston area and said he’s followed some of the controversy about drone regulations. He said his close call raises big questions about the tiny aircraft, and believes there should be some license required before people fly drones over crowds of people.

Man flying drone over Marblehead Memorial Day Parade prior to crash (Photo credit: Sean Lorenz)

Man flying drone over Marblehead Memorial Day Parade prior to crash (Photo credit: Sean Lorenz)

Federal Aviation Adminstration safety guidelines suggest not flying the aircraft near people.

“That guy (drone operator) has to think about where he flies the thing and what could have happened if he hit my daughter. I’d be pretty upset,” Yount said.

WBZ contacted the owner of the drone, but has yet to hear back. A police report described the man as very apologetic and embarrassed.

Man who was operating crashed drone (L) and Scot Yount (R) (Image from viewer video)

Man who was operating crashed drone (L) and Scot Yount (R) (Image from viewer video)

“He reported that he has flown the drone numerous times without ever having a negative experience,” the report said. “He explained that it was poor judgement, and wouldn’t be flying the drone over Marblehead again.”

Ryan Kath can be reached at rkath@cbs.com. You can follow him on Twitter and connect with him on Facebook.

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