Tim Droogsma, injured in a Steamboat Days parade float accident, is undergoing rehabilitation to recover from injuries.
Minnesota Secretary of State candidate John Howe and Droogsma, his campaign manager, were injured after the tractor pulling them hit a curb in downtown Carver following the city’s Steamboat Days parade.
The incident occurred at Main Street West and Hickory Street, according to a Carver County Sheriff's Office press release. The Sheriff’s office received a report that two men were injured, one with a head injury and the other with a leg injury, at 2:42 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.
In a phone interview, Droogsma said he was transported to Two Twelve Medical Center in Chaska and then to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia. On Sept. 13 he was transferred to a care facility in Red Wing, where he is going through occupational and physical rehabilitation on his legs.
The tractor rolled over both of his legs and he currently has to use a walker. However, doctors said they don’t think there will be any permanent damage. Droogsma hopes to be released by Friday.
“It’s hard not to feel very blessed the way it turned out,” he said, noting that if the vehicle had run over any other part of his body, he would likely have more severe injuries.
Droogsma and Howe were standing on a tractor pulling the float in the parade, when the vehicle suddenly, veered right and hit the curb, he recalled. The driver believes a gear may have slipped while going over a pothole and caused the vehicle to go out of control, Droogsma said.
Howe fell off the left side of the tractor and hit his head on the pavement. For that he received 14 staples to the back of his head.
Standing on the back of the tractor may not have been the safest thing to do, Droogsma said, but he grew up doing just that on his relatives' farms in Princeton.
“It’s getting better,” Droogma said, of his injuries.