July 4th Is the Anniversary of Macie Hill's Death — What Happened?

8-year-old Macie Hill passed away suddenly and tragically on July 4, 2022. Two years later, her town remembers her.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jul. 4 2024, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

For many Americans, July 4th is a happy occasion — it’s a day off from work filled with barbecues, parades, family time, vacation, and other fun activities. But for the Hill family, it’s the anniversary of their “little princess’s” death. When 8-year-old Macie Hill died suddenly on July 4, 2022, the holiday took on a whole other meaning for the Hill family and their town of Kaysville, Utah.

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Two years later, Kaysville continues to honor Macie’s memory during their annual July 4 parade. But as onlookers wear pink ribbons in her honor and the parade marches on, others might not remember the tragic day that Macie passed away. So what exactly happened to Macie Hill?

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8-year-old Macie Hill died during the Kaysville Independence Day parade because of a car accident.

It happened swiftly and suddenly. Fox 5 reported on Macie’s death in the days following the July 4, 2022, accident. She was cheerleading with her squad on one of the July 4 parade floats when their float was hit by another vehicle. A Hummer, which was also part of the parade, hit the Patriot Cheer squad’s float and first responders quickly arrived on the scene. They rushed her to the Layton Parkway Hospital, where she died.

“I don’t think people understood the seriousness of the situation at first," Shawna Dennis, who attended the parade, told Fox 13. “Immediately, like, I’m in shock, it was horrific, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.” Shawna saw Macie get run over by a yellow Hummer in a tragic and terrifying turn of events.

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“I glared up and I see a little girl that was laying on the ground in that little dance company, and the trailer, the back trailer, just ran over the top of her," she added. “I heard a woman screaming at the driver, 'Stop, stop, stop, you just ran over one of your girls!'” As Macie was rushed to the hospital, the parade was canceled.

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An investigation found no wrongdoing in Macie’s death, but the Kaysville community continues to honor her memory.

Months later, police reported that there was no wrongdoing in Macie’s death and that it was just a tragic accident. Kaysville Police Chief Solomon Oberg said in an email to KUTV 2News, “No shortcomings or mistakes by parade organizers or anyone else involved.” They explained in the police report, “[Macie] tried to get candy off the trailer. The trailer front tire rolled over her leg and pulled her under the tires.”

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Even still, the tragic events have impacted the Kaysville July 4 parade for the foreseeable future. Several changes were made the following year to ensure everyone’s safety, including ensuring that participants walk behind floats instead of alongside them and that no one will be allowed to hop off their float unless there is an emergency.

In 2023, the parade started with a banner in Macie’s name and several participants wore pink ribbons in her honor. We expect Kaysville to continue this tradition for years to come to honor Macie, whose family described her as “unique” with an “exuberant personality” in her obituary.

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After her death, the family’s friends set up a GoFundMe to cover the costs of the funeral, hospital bills, and grief counseling. When it exceeded the goal with almost $120,000 raised, the family encouraged people to donate to the family of 13-year-old Paysley Boothe, who passed away the day after Macie from cancer and other chronic health struggles. During Macie’s memorial, over 1000 Utah cheerleaders lined the streets in her memory.

On this difficult day (and all year long), we keep the Hill family and friends in our thoughts as they remember the legacy left behind by their little but powerful girl.

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