Hometown Heroes 1982

In September of 1982, at the annual Perth Fair parade, three heroes emerged, going above and beyond, in what could have been an even greater tragedy.

Over 100 spectators were gathered on the corner of Halton Street and Gore Street, watching the parade on that Friday in September; the opening night of the 137th annual Perth Fair.

Two innocent bystanders, Amy Nighbor, age 4, of Smiths Falls, and Stephen Buchanan, age 7, were struck when a car plowed into the crowd. Seven others were injured, but not as seriously as the two children.

Ken Carson, age 30, jumped in front of the car which was pushing Amy, wedged under the front wheel in her stroller.

It was said that if it hadn’t been for the quick thinking, and fast actions of Mr. Carson, that the little girl, Amy, might not have survived.

September 8, 1982, p. 2, “The Perth Courier”

“It took a lot of courage to stand in front of that car!”, said Detective Sergeant Doug Cox, of the Perth Police.

A second hero, Stephen McPherson, age 28, an off-duty ambulance driver, was quick to assist Ken Carson in the quick transport of little Amy to the hospital.

Later, Amy Nighbor was transported to CHEO, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, in Ottawa.

A third hero, off-duty officer, OPP Constable David Hutchingame chased after the car, after it slammed through the crowd, reached in, and grabbed the steering wheel.

September 29, 1982, p. 3, “The Perth Courier”

Certificates of Commendation

Ken Carson, Steven MacPherson, and Dave Hutchingame received Certificates of Commendation, issued by St. John’s Ambulance, for their heroic actions, at an awards ceremoney at the Perth Town Hall on February 19, 1983.

January 26, 1983, p. 24, “The Perth Courier”

These three men are Hometown Heroes, who went above and beyond, to help others in danger.

Many decades have passed since this tragic incident, and we might take a moment to pause and reflect on what could have been a very different outcome if these brave men had not been among the crowds on that fateful day in early September, 1982.

Arlene Stafford-Wilson