The above picture came from our local newspaper last evening!!
Unfortunately, it does not appear all too clear.
The Fourth of July turned absolutely horrific for this immediate and next town north of us area (about 20 miles).
As for locally, we have acres and acres of beautiful land edged completely with some hundred feet plus cliffs over looking the Mississippi River, preserved as Eagle Point Park on the very northern edge of our city. It is actually only about 20 city blocks from my home.
And, never a holiday passes, that some child will fall from these bluffs despite the warning signs and/or fences!! It leaves me to wonder where in the world are the parents and what were they thinking!! And, this Fourth of July was very much the same with a twelve year old boy falling some 80 feet down the bluffs. He ended up with some head and spine injuries, as well as some fractures.
These cliffs ultimately have several sets of operating railroad tracks at the bottom of them with the tracks running aside full length with the river. Most rescues have to be made from going miles to one end or the other via these railroad tracks and then after attempt the rescues!! After the person has been rescued and stabilized, it is a long several miles to where an ambulance can accept their patient. This particular rescue took the ambulance transporting the victim to a small neighborhood park that happened to have a baseball field among it about twelve blocks away to an awaiting helicopter which was able to fly the victim to the University of Iowa Hospitals. The local paramedics finally constructed a gurney of some kind with wheels that will attach to the railroad tracks and allow them to simply push it to the waiting ambulance!!
However, things turned very tragic for the town of Bellevue, Iowa about twenty miles north of us. They had their usual Fourth of July parade early Sunday morning. At the end of the parade were the usual horses, horses and carriages and various other horse related riders and things.
I was just sixty years old. All of my life, I have been scared to death of horses as my mother instilled this in me from the time I was a few months old. I was taken to my first parade, in all ten freezing degrees, for Mardi Gras about five months after I was born!! What was SHE thinking!!
My father was on the Police Department and many times he was in the planning of the parade line up. Each parade my mother wanted to know exactly when the horses were going to be put in, how many there were and how far away they were. At first sighting of the horses, my mother promptly grabbed my brother, sister and my self and we were immediately placed inside of our car!! We were always quite upset by this!! This was usually Santa's big premiere for the year, around these parts, and we always managed to completely miss him as he was always the very end of the parade!!
However, my mother hated horses in general, I think!! I always also wanted to see them!! NO WAY!!! Those animals could be "spoofed" and then stampede right through us and/or over us. All these years, right up to this present situation, I always thought how very, very stupid and it just would not happen!!
Well, you live long enough, unfortunately you see every thing!!
During this parade, the horses some how rubbed up against each other and a bridle fell off one and this spoofed them and they went straight forward on a speed run through the rest of the parade. The horses stomped and a carriage wheel ran over several children simply stooped over to snatch up the candy thrown from the moving parade vehicles.
(Thankfully, our town passed an ordinance that no candy could be thrown, but rather had to be passed out by accompanying walkers in parade.) Last count I heard was at least 24, mostly small children, had been seriously injured!! One adult, the driver's wife, was thrown out of carriage and on to a cement driveway from the runaway carriage and was killed!!
The man driving had seen his poor wife be thrown to the ground, but also had his daughter-in-law, 7-year old grandson and 5-year old granddaughter in the yet runaway carriage. The carriage finally crashed and overturned. The daughter-in-law was able to put her arms around her two children and hold them close to her. They escaped with many bumps and bruises only.
But, then that poor man driving. He desperately clung, for all he could, to the reins as tightly as he could. Witnesses say this man's shirt was in shreds as the horses continued on dragging him for over a six block distance over cement streets!! When rescuers reached this poor man he totally refused any type of medical attention and was only worried about his wife and other people injured!!
And, the poor horses were finally stopped in an intersection after colliding with another float!! They went down to the ground and dozens of bystanders immediately jumped on these poor animals to contain them!! I know these horses had to be stopped, however, they had to be even more scared upon dozens of people jumping on them!!
This was just simply one of the most horrific and strange accidents I have seen in some time!! My heart and prayers go out to all the people affected, especially the poor driver of the horses and carriage who lost his dearly beloved 60 year old wife!! How very, very tragic for all!!
Thus, I am posting this to simply say, "I guess my mother was not as crazy as we all thought her to be"!! It is truly some thing to consider when you are attending your next parade and to truly get your hands on those precious children of your own "just in case"!!
Love and Hugs!!