CARVER, Minn. (WCCO) — For Minnesota’s Republican Secretary of State candidate, John Howe, Sunday’s Steamboat Days parade in Carver was a perfect chance to meet and greet voters.

“It’s just a blessing, we are very fortunate,” Howe said.

In the parade’s aftermath, however, his perfect day turned to peril.

“Tim and I were between the trailer and the tractor,” Howe said. “We had one foot on the trailer and one on the tractor hitch.”

Howe and campaign manager Tim Droogsma were at the front of a flatbed trailer that was being towed by a tractor. The driver hit a pothole, which caused the steering mechanism to lurch to the right. That’s when the trailer ran up on the curb, tossing both men violently to the pavement.

Howe immediately went over to Droogsma to check on his condition when he realized he was bleeding profusely from the back of his head.

“Even after they put 14 staples in my scalp, I could still feel blood trickling down the back of my neck,” Howe said.

Photographs taken by Amy Koch show friends and paramedics providing first aid to the two men. Howe was treated and released, but Droogsma remained hospitalized. That’s because the 2,800-pound trailer ran over his right leg.

“I’m very thankful my campaign manager Tim Droogsma is doing well,” Howe said. “I am very concerned about him because he was taken underneath the trailer.”

Nursing sore muscles and stinging abrasions, Howe says both men are lucky injuries aren’t more serious. He said he’s grateful that the 13 others aboard the float weren’t injured as well.

“It wasn’t anybody’s fault — it was a steering wheel malfunction, a mechanical issue,” Howe said.

Bill Hudson

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