Helena’s Inaugural Soap Box Derby Disrupted After Spectator Kick | Local


A spectator at Saturday’s Soap Box Derby in downtown Helena was taken in an ambulance after one of the home-made vehicles crashed into the crowd.

Jesse Chaney, independent record

Helena’s first Septemberfest Soap Box Derby was halted after a spectator was taken into an ambulance after being struck by one of the home-made vehicles.

“We just want to make sure everyone is safe and our EMT is gone, so we don’t want to continue racing,” said organizer Lisa Hahn of Point S.

Sponsored by Point S and Downtown Helena, the event on 6th Avenue in Downtown Helena featured 18 vehicles made from household items such as plywood, bicycle tires, lawn mower wheels and even a trash can.

Vehicles had to have a driver and could have up to two pushers. Cars couldn’t weigh more than 200 pounds without the driver, and fully functional brakes and steering were required.

It didn’t take long to see that this was a dangerous sport, as the second vehicle in the line was the first of several to crash through the guardrails and into the crowd. Several drivers were knocked down and at least one of the vehicles overturned.

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After the ambulance departed, the remaining drivers each drove their vehicles along the route as the crowds made their way to the food trucks, beer garden and live music from Goldie Vox.

“We’re learning from our event, but the Helena community came out and it was really great,” Hahn said. “We will do our best to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

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