Shortly before 5pm Sunday evening, ambulances, fire trucks, and police vehicles rushed to the scene at the Coliseum at the Indiana State Fair. The evening horse competition was just getting underway when an accident occurred involving on a stage coach. Authorities confirmed that a coach flipped and that least 5 people were injured and taken to Methodist hospital with non-life-threatening conditions. State Fair spokesman Andy Klotz said they were in stable condition. It was reported that there were 4 judges inside the coach when the accident occurred. According to the Indianapolis Star, the queen, Erika Elaine Burghardt, Mulberry, IN, appeared to be riding atop the stagecoach beside the driver — dressed as a cowboy — when the vehicle tipped over. She was one of the 5 people injured and taken to the hospital.
The six-horse hitch was part of a demonstration by the Great American Wild West Show to start the evening’s judging of Percherons and Clydesdales. In the Coliseum, witnesses reported that, when the stagecoach overturned, the driver quickly stopped the horses and jumped off to help people onboard. “The driver of the coach has more than 20 years of stage coach driving experience and kept his team of six horses under control after the coach tipped,” Klotz said in a statement. “He was examined by the medical team on site and had no injuries.”
The six-horse hitch was the start to the evening’s judging of Percheron and Clydesdale eight-horse hitches in the Coliseum, state fair officials said. The crowd of about 3,000 people was evacuated after the crash, but the hitch contest resumed later in the evening. None of the horses in the hitch were injured.