NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A tourist was taken to the hospital early Thursday after he fell from, and was run over by a party bus in downtown Nashville.
Metro Police said Jacob Day, 22, from Michigan, was reportedly sitting on the railing of the roofless party bus. Day fell off the railing and landed face-first onto the roadway around 12:30 a.m. near Broadway and 14th Avenue North. The bus then ran over Day's legs after he fell onto the pavement. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening.
The incident, however, reignited a longstanding city battle to regulate entertainment vehicles. In a statement from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp, President Butch Spyridon said,
"While we hope the individual injured recovers quickly, we must use this as an immediate call to action. Public safety is our number one concern, and unfortunately what we feared would happen, did happen. It is no secret that we have been openly concerned about the behavior surrounding entertainment vehicles. As goes public safety, so goes Nashville’s reputation. We need music to return to center stage instead of unregulated rolling parties. The hospitality industry and the city are determined to respond with meaningful measures."
“Any reasonable person would say this is out of control, and we'd like to see it be under control,” District 19 Councilman Freddie O’Connell said, explaining that ‘transportainment’ vehicles, as they’ve been dubbed, have gone unregulated for years. Hours, noise levels, and routes are all left the companies’ discretions. “People aren't acting in good faith,” O’Connell said. “They aren't trying to be decent or responsible, They're trying to max out their profit and they don't care about the impact to actual Nashville residents.”
The owners of Party Bus Music City, the entertainment vehicle company involved in Thursday’s accident, released the following statement: “Our prayers are with Jacob and his family, we wish him a full recovery. This was an unfortunate, unusual, and unexpected incident. The Open Air Party Bus is a safe experience, however, the stunt that was attempted, led to this tragedy. We are waiting for the final incident report, from the investigation, by the Metro Nashville Police Department.”
A law must pass at the state level in order to grant the city the authority it wants. That process began more than a year ago, but was interrupted by the pandemic, according to O’Connell.
Police said there were 15 people, including the driver, at the time of the accident.