Stagecoach accident at Indiana State Fair
The State Fair queen is one of five people recovering from an accident at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Indiana University sophomore Erika Burghardt was riding on top of a stagecoach, right next to the driver, when it suddenly tipped over inside of Pepsi Coliseum Sunday night.
A Statement released from the Indiana State Fair says prior to the 8-horse hitch competition, a stagecoach performing the pre-event entertainment tipped on its side while taking a turn.
Six people, including the driver, were aboard the coach. The five passengers, including the State Fair queen, were transported to Methodist Hospital with minor injuries.
The driver of the coach has more than 20 years of stagecoach driving experience and kept his team of six horses under control after the coach tipped. He was examined by the medical team on site and had no injuries.
Matthew Hall from Camby was just a couple of rows up from the arena floor.
"It looks like something might have let loose. It cocked those wheels off to the side like cut and tug into the ground. It just flipped that stagecoach right on its side. They were not traveling very fast," Hall said.
People in the stands rushed to the floor of the arena to help the injured.
David Shaw, the Chief Operating Officer of the Indiana State Fair, was one of the first on the arena floor.
"The response was within 20 seconds. I was in the hall way of the Coliseum. I was one of the first ones there and I'm proud of the response," Shaw said.
Shaw was hired earlier this summer by the State Fair Board put into action new safety recommendations after the stage rigging collapse last year.
"Our ultimate goal at the Indiana State Fair Grounds is public safety, so if that means we keep any risk to the fairgrounds contained, then that is what we are going to do" Shaw said.
The State Fair queen is expected to be back at the fair on Monday. Three other passengers were treated and released while an additional passenger was kept at the hospital overnight.
Indiana State Police conducted an investigation and found that nothing wrong was done by any one person, and that Sunday's Stagecoach accident was just that... an accident.
Sunday's stagecoach crash occurred a day before the one-year anniversary of that deadly stage rigging collapse at the State Fair. Seven people were killed in that collapse and dozens of others were injured.