A Thanksgiving Day Balloon Sent A Woman Into A Coma
Whatever you have planned this Thanksgiving, we hope you will have a better time than Kathy Caronna did in 1997.
On that Thanksgiving Day 25 years ago, Caronna headed to Central Park West with her husband and eight-month-old baby to watch the Macy’s Parade. The wind blew hard that afternoon, hard enough to damage many balloons and force the organizers to take them out of rotation. Barney the Dinosaur succumbed to injuries (few mourned that loss), as did the Pink Panther.
Then the heavy winds threw the Cat in the Hat balloon against a lamppost. That balloon floated in the air, true, but it was still massive, and the collision knocked a metal arm off the post. The arm fell and hit Caronna on the head, knocking her unconscious. She spent the next 24 days in a coma. When she awoke, she still had a dent as wide as a tennis ball in her skull.
After she recovered, she sued Macy’s, who settled with her out of court in 2001.
If there was any upside to this, she’d at least got her quota of freak Manhattan accidents out of the way and was set for life — except, fate doesn’t work like that.
In 2006, Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was flying his private four-seater plane. It took off from New Jersey, and he was planning to ride that monoplane all the way to Texas. This route somehow took him over Manhattan, where — by accident, as far as anyone’s been able to determine — it crashed into the Belaire Apartments, a condominium complex on East 72nd Street.
Plenty of people in the city first assumed this was a terrorist attack. Kathy Caronna had a more personal issue: She lived in Belaire Apartments, and the plane’s engine landed in her bedroom, then burst into flames. At least she wasn’t home at the time, so she wasn’t among the 21 people the crash injured.
For more people the universe keeps striking, check out:
Top image: Rhododendrites/Wiki Commons