BELLEVUE, Iowa – Two runaway horses pulling a wagon trampled spectators at a small-town Fourth of July parade, killing a 60-year-old woman and injuring at least 23 other people, four critically.
The horses bolted after one rubbed its head against the other, removing that horse’s bridle, police said. They galloped for several blocks with the wagon in tow, trampling paradegoers. The wagon flipped and ejected its two passengers, police said.
Among those injured were children who had stooped in the street to pick up candy that had been tossed to them.
Police declined to identify the woman who died. Four people were hospitalized in critical condition, five others were seriously hurt and 14 others sustained minor injuries, police said.
The parade is a decades-long tradition in Bellevue, a town of about 2,300 people on the Iowa-Illinois border.
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 were flown to University of Iowa Hospital, and one was in fair condition at Mercy Medical, she said. Seven children were treated and released.