Just weeks after the Ohio State Fair incident that killed one and injured several more, another fair has turned deadly.
The Meadville Tribune reports that Wednesday afternoon, 64-year-old Charles E. Burns, the chairman of the draft horse competition department, was killed when he was thrown from his horse-drawn wagon as he rode around the horse ring of the Crawford County Fair in Pennsylvania.
According to witnesses, Burns was driving a wagon pulled by a team of draft horses when it made a sharp turn, throwing Burns forward beneath the hooves of the giants. The horses became spooked and began bucking.
Emergency medical personnel immediately came in to help Burns, treating him until an ambulance arrived. He was then transported to Meadville Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 1:45 pm.
Crawford County Coroner Scott Schell confirmed that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Pat Baussman, a fair volunteer for 62 years, witnessed the tragic accident. She described the moment Burns and a young girl rode through the ring’s entrance gate in the horse-drawn wagon, then lurched forward as a wagon wheel struck a post.
“When they came in, I don’t know if they were too close to the post or turned too sharply, but the rear wheel caught,” Baussman said. “Whether it was the wheel that caught or whether it was the hub of the wheel that caught, from here you couldn’t tell.”
Baussman had been watching from the top of a nearby small hillside.
“That thing just violently tipped,” Baussman said. “It really threw him off.”
According to Baussman, Burns was pitched forward and landed on his head and shoulder onto the ground.
“The horses were scared and (their) rear feet were going up and down,” Baussman recounted.
Another witness said the girl was thrown a safe distance away from the team of horses, and was uninjured.