Jul 21, 2023

Westland fire dog triggers golf cart pedal, runs over leg of 4

Westland — In what Westland Fire Department officials called a "minor event," the department's arson dog, Bella, accidentally triggered a golf cart's accelerator pedal during a blues festival Friday, sending the vehicle lurching forward and running over a 4-year-old girl, according to a post on the department's Facebook page.

Although "visibly shaken," the girl was not hurt in the incident at the Blues, Brews and BBQ event at Thomas H. Brown Central City Park, the post said.

"There was a minor event last night at Blues, Brews, and BBQ in which the fire department’s Arson Dog Bella was sitting on the seat of a golf cart the fire department was using for the event," said the post from the Office of the Fire Chief. "She jumped onto the floor and laid down, laying across the accelerator pedal.

"This caused the cart to lunge forward and the firefighters reacted quickly to try to steer the cart away from any people and toward the tents that the fire department were occupying," the post said. "Unfortunately before the firefighters could bring the cart to a stop and remove the key from the vehicle, it struck a 4 year old girl and the passenger side front tire ran over her left leg."

Paramedics checked the girl and found "no obvious injuries" although the child was "visibly shaken," fire officials said.

"Her mother refused further treatment or transport to an emergency room," the post said. "Fortunately, the child was back to eating her popcorn within minutes of the incident and within 10 minutes of the incident was back to jumping in the fire department bounce house."

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