A participant in the Christmas on Green Street parade was hospitalized Sunday after being exposed to carbon monoxide during the annual event.
David Perez, a Gainesville Cricket Wireless employee, was passing out bags behind the Cricket Wireless truck during most of the parade but at some point got into the back of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, said David Allen, director of operations with Coast 2 Coast Mobile Media, which provides marketing services to Cricket.
A generator was running in that vehicle, according to Gainesville Fire Department spokesman Keith Smith.
Soon after that, the person who had been walking with Perez alerted Allen, who provided the truck as part of Cricket Wireless’ marketing during the parade.
Allen was flying a drone about 40 feet behind the truck.
“I ran up there, and he’s just standing there like a zombie,” Allen said. “His eyes were open, but he wasn’t responsive. So, I pulled him out of there and sat him on the back of the truck.”
Allen said he started splashing Perez with water and tried to make him drink some.
That’s when Smith, who was at the parade in case medical attention was needed, showed up to help.
“Myself and two off-duty Gainesville Fire personnel treated the patient,” Smith said.
Perez was taken to the hospital by Hall County Fire Services and discharged later that evening. The Times has been unable to contact Perez.
“We went there as well, just until his family could get there and just to get an understanding of what happened,” Allen said.