Tractor crash after Penngrove parade injures woman

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Calling for help as she tried to slow her runaway tractor, a 72-year-old woman who participated in Penngrove’s parade Sunday crashed after the event, sending her to the hospital with possible serious injuries, authorities said.

Kathleen Righetti of Santa Rosa was riding a custom-built tractor with a 1921 engine when it overturned and crashed into a culvert along Woodward Avenue near Petaluma Hill Road, missing spectators also leaving the parade around noon.

“She was yelling for help,” CHP Officer Marcus Hawkins said Monday. “Witnesses said she was steering the tractor left and right, assuming she was trying to shave off some speed as she was going down the hill.”

Righetti was thrown from the tractor as it rolled. She hit her head as she crashed into the pavement and was initially knocked unconscious, Hawkins said.

Righetti, who later was conscious and talking, was taken by ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. She has been a regular participant in the parade for at least a decade, a parade organizer said.

“It was right at the end of the parade and everyone was coming back to the staging area,” Rancho Adobe Fire Battalion Chief Mike Weihman said about the crash. “Her tractor came out of gear and she had no brakes going down a hill.”

Rancho Adobe firefighters were in the town’s annual fundraiser parade, now in its 43rd year. And the crash happened just a few blocks from the Penngrove firehouse, so firefighters responded quickly, Weihman said.

The crash followed an unusual parade mishap involving a horse in the procession, which lost a shoe.

The horseshoe flew into spectators along the route, hitting a young girl in the head, Weihman said.

The girl wasn’t badly hurt, authorities said. She was treated along the parade sidelines by firefighters and released to her parents.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport.

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