By Erica Noonan
It isn't clear whether Thursday morning's "Beep Day" parade mishap will prompt Wellesley High School officials to prohibit student-planned slate of senior class graduation season events.
Nine Wellesley students suffered minor injuries when four cars collided during the annual decades-old, unsanctioned senior class procession.
Wellesley police said the four cars were in a chain reaction rear-end accident about 10 a.m. on a residential stretch of Forest Street, shortly after the traditional parade of decorated cars carrying graduating seniors, honking their horns and cheering, departed the high school parking lot.
Occupants from the two most damaged cars went to Newton-Wellesley Hospital by ambulance, said Wellesley Police Sergeant Marie Cleary. A short time later, other students riding in less-damaged vehicles sought medical care after telling their parents about the accident.
Wellesley High principal Andrew Keough hasn't commented on whether school officials are considering placing limits on the remainder of the senior graduation celebrations, or will move to ban the parade next year.
He said in a mass e-mail to parents shortly after the crash that the school was investigating the accident.
"We are thankful no one was more seriously injured and will be investigating further what happened so that this type of incident will not happen again," he wrote.
Police had given seniors safety instructions for Beep Day about two weeks ago, Cleary said.
"We don't sanction it. We just offer safety guidelines," she said.
That has been the department's long-standing routine for the unofficial celebration, which dates back more than 50 years and is generally unpopular with school officials because of the noise and disruption it causes.
Drivers in the three cars that hit the vehicles stopped in front of them were issued citations for following too closely, Cleary said today.
This certainly wasn't the first Beep Day fender-bender, she said, but authorities could not immediately locate records of past incidents.