CHEHALIS, Wash. – “It was like a scene from a movie,” said Jennifer Adkison, who was injured when a spooked horse and carriage hit her at a fair. “It was going probably 30-35 miles per hour, full speed, right towards us.”
The runaway horse at the Southwest Washington Fair injured five people on Friday afternoon, two seriously.
Adkison said Monday that it barely missed her children.
“That was my first thought. Where are my kids? I need to get my kids out of the way,” Adkison recalled.
Officials said a horse offering carriage rides was spooked by a forklift and broke free from its handler. It ran down the midway with the carriage still attached, running down people in its path. Adkison saw the horse speeding right toward them.
She turned around to look for her boys and pushed them out of the way.
“By the time I looked back, it was almost on top of me so I jumped,” she said.
Paramedics told her, based on the bruising and marks on her leg, that a wheel probably hit her leg.
“It could’ve been so much worse, my kids could’ve been hit,” she said.
Adkison said she is fine, but has a message for the owners of the attraction that sent several people to the hospital.
“If they just used proper safety precautions like a break and post to tie the horse to, it could’ve been prevented.”
Q13 News called the State Fair in Puyallup that begins in 10 days. They are making sure their safety measures are in place during their equestrian events. They said safety is a priority. When showing draft horses in the arena, they will block pedestrian walkways, to ensure safety of fair patrons. They said they do not offer carriage rides as an attraction at the fair.
The Evergreen State Fair starts on Thursday. Organizers said the horses are kept in their own arena, away from the midway. Rides are not being offered and safety measure are in place.
“It’s something you expect from the 1800s, not 2016,” Adkison said of the accident.
She said Friday’s incident isn’t going to scare her away from other fairs in the future. She said her two boys went back the next day to show their chickens.
“You can’t live your life in fear.”
Q13 News reached out to Lewis County officials for comment about Friday’s accident.
We received this statement:
On August 19, 2016, an incident occurred at the Lewis County Fairgrounds. Lewis County has provided all the information it has regarding that accident gathered to date. Because of potential litigation that could arise in the future, and upon advice of counsel, Lewis County will not be making any further comments on this matter.
"Our thoughts and well wishes continue to be with those affected by this incident.
Lewis County Board of County Commissioners"