Family members described 8-year-old Aidan Hooper as a boy who was full of unbridled energy, curiosity and compassion for others. The Edmond community mourned with the family after Aidan’s accidental death when he fell from a LibertyFest Parade float.
Friday morning, the Edmond Police Department identified the boy. His father, Quinton Hooper, 44, was driving the ATA Karate & Life Skills Training Center float in the 2013 LibertyFest Parade. Police say the driver did nothing wrong during the incident.
Through Deer Creek Public Schools, family members thanked the community for the outpouring of love, and asked for privacy as they grieve.
“We are devastated about the loss of our precious Aidan,” family members stated.
Deer Creek Public Schools spokeswoman Lenis DeRieux said Aidan was a second-grader at Grove Valley Elementary during the past school year. District health and wellness program counselors are available to assist with grief counseling, DeRieux said.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the Hooper family and their friends,” DeRieux said. “Deer Creek would like to offer any assistance and support to the family, our community of parents, teachers and students.”
DeRieux said anyone in need of help or support should call 348-6100, ext. 1138 so the district can provide those in need with appropriate assistance.
Other members of the community are reacting to the news. The family attends services at NORTHchurch, 1601 W. Memorial Road.
“NORTHchurch loves the Hooper family and we will be there to support them during this difficult time,” said Callie Settles, church administrative assistant.
ATA Karate did not return a phone message seeking comment about Aidan. The facility was closed Friday afternoon and a person answering the door said officials were asking for the family’s privacy to be respected.
Robby Allen, this year’s LibertyFest committee president, said he and the other event leaders want to extend their sympathies to members of the boy’s family, who are in their thoughts and prayers.
“We’re all stunned by it,” Allen said a day after the event. “It’s just a tragedy. It was a horrible accident. Nobody did anything wrong.”
Allen said there were more than 100 entries in this year’s parade through downtown Edmond. After the parade was over and entries were nearing their final destination at the end of the route, Allen was in the line not far behind the ATA Karate & Life Skills Training Center float. There were still several hundred spectators in the area at the time.
With Allen was his own 8-year-old son. Allen said due to that fact, the tragedy was especially difficult for him. Allen said he chose to tell his children up front about the accident stressing the importance of safety. Allen said neither the driver nor the children on the float did anything wrong. Police were not sure if Aidan got off the float or fell off.
No funeral services have been set yet for Aidan.
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