Carriage-towing steeds leave destruction in their wake at a popular festival
Sandie Crilly was helping her 8-year-old son, 12-year-old niece and 2-year-old granddaughter pick up Tootsie Rolls from the ground during Bellevue’s annual Fourth of July parade when someone yelled to get out of the way.
Looking up, she saw two panicked horses dragging a carriage charging toward them.
“I could see it was two horses,” said Crilly, 46, of Willow Springs, Ill., who was visiting her parents in Bellevue. “I could see they were running at full speed and they were harnessed together and I knew we were going to most certainly get hit, and as soon as it happened, everybody was crying and screaming.”
Someone pulled her granddaughter to safety, but Crilly said her niece broke her wrist and lost her two front teeth. At least 22 other people were injured, some critically, and one woman was killed, police and hospital officials said.
Janet Steines of Spragueville, whose husband was driving the carriage, died Sunday evening at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, according to the Hachmann Funeral Home in Bellevue.
The horses got spooked after they rubbed heads and one’s bridle fell off, police said. They galloped for several blocks through downtown Bellevue, a town of about 2,300 residents along the Iowa-Illinois border. The wagon overturned at some point, dumping its four passengers.
Many of the injured were children like Crilly’s niece who were picking up candy from the street that had been tossed to them.
Most of the injured were treated at hospitals and released, but at least four people remained in critical condition late Sunday and several others were seriously hurt, according to police and hospital officials.
Paramedics treated victims at an art gallery in town and a triage area was set up near the Mississippi River, where volunteers held up tarps to shield the injured and paramedics from the sun and heat, Crilly said. Others brought the injured ice and water, she said.
“It was madness,” Crilly said. “I mean we were in a triage. The town really came together. It was a huge community effort.”
Mayor Virgil Murray said residents were shocked, and they’ve never had problems with having horses in the parade before.
“We’ve never really had any tragedy,” the mayor said. “Usually our biggest nemesis is if it rains. That’s what we’re always worried about.”
Between 3,000 and 4,000 people attend the parade, many people coming in from rural areas and nearby towns, he said.
The injured were sent by ambulance and medical helicopter to hospitals in Dubuque, Maquoketa and Iowa City. Ten patients were taken to Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque, nine of them children, house supervisor Carol Dietzel said.
Two children in critical condition was flown to University of Iowa Hospital, and one was in fair condition at Mercy Medical, a hospital official said. Seven children were treated and released.
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver released a statement saying the victims were in his thoughts and prayers.
“I am especially saddened because the accident occurred during the events celebrating Independence Day, which is a day that should be filled with pride and joy for all Iowans and Americans,” Culver said.
More Related Stories
- If Alex Pareene was a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
- UK officials: Radical Islam behind London attack
- Pa. governor "can't find" any Latinos to work in his administration
- London machete attack could be linked to terrorism
- Conservative group blames military sexual assault on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal
- Lois Lerner, IRS disaster
- Donald Rumsfeld worried that marriage equality will lead to polygamy
- Experts: Fox News spying scandal a game-changer
- San Francisco Giant Jeremy Affeldt apologizes for homophobic past
- 9-year-old slams Rahm over Chicago schools
- Stockholm riots rage for third day
- Wall Street firm's "Golden Pitchbook" is totally sexist, full of lies
- Must-see morning clip: Toronto's eccentric and allegedly crack-smoking mayor
- Federal court strikes down Arizona abortion ban
- Jodi Arias: I deserve a second chance
- Oklahoma residents return home to pick up the pieces
- Florida man with connection to Tsarnaev killed by FBI
- FBI identifies 5 Benghazi suspects
- Here come the tornado truthers. Already
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11