a Nashville tourism leader predicted the possibility.
The man, who ended up in the hospital, fell off the bus just after midnight on Nashville’s Lower Broadway and was run over by the vehicle’s rear tires, authorities said. He was sitting on the railing of the roofless party bus, fell off the railing and landed face-first on the roadway, a police spokesman said.
The man’s condition was not immediately known Thursday afternoon, but Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said the man’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Butch Spryidon, president and CEO of Nashville Convention Visitors Corp., said the accident should prompt “an immediate call to action” for local tourism officials.
“Public safety is our No. 1 concern and, unfortunately, what we feared would happen, did happen,” Spyridon said. “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.”
The fall comes just two weeks after Spyridon predicted the possibility.
“It’s not if, it’s when, somebody is going to fall from one of the vehicles,” Spyridon told The Tennessean. “Or there’s going to be road rage or something, and I don’t want that to happen.”
Sprydron has also previously said the thriving “transportainment” industry is flouting rules and seemingly oblivious to community complaints.
City leaders have targeted entertainment vehicles for years without success. In mid-July, officials met to begin outlining recommendations to state leaders on the issue –even as Gov. Bill Lee works to promote more Nashville tourism with a $2.5 million marketing investment in plane-ticket giveaways.
State law prevents local regulation of entertainment vehicles, which simply need to obtain a state license to operate and are not checked for safety violations.
In 2019, Nashville officials tried to change that by promoting a law increasing safety and operational regulations including non-slip flooring and railings for open-air vehicles.
The effort wilted under pressure from industry leaders.
Natalie Neysa Alund is based in Nashville at The Tennessean and covers breaking news across the South for the USA TODAY Network. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.