Saturday, July 20, 2024

5 injured after party bus flees bull arena, plows into Oregon rodeo crowd

Five people were hospitalized after a bull escaped from the arena at an Oregon rodeo and charged at patrons, officials said Sunday.

Video verified by NBC News showed a rodeochoir being charged and flipped over by a bull called the Party Bus. The Sisters Rodeo Association said the bull jumped over a fence in an arena, onto the rodeo grounds, and ran off, grabbing onto a pen where livestock professionals were holding it.

The arena announcer immediately called for emergency action.

“A rodeo bucking bull ran through the rodeo grounds over a fence and was then secured by our rodeo pickup man and arena staff in back cattle pens,” Sisters Rodeo said in a statement.

Video from the scene showed Saturday’s incident at the 84th Sisters Rodeo in the City of Sisters, about 22 miles north of Bend, before the last ride of the night was scheduled.

A rodeo bull jumps a fence during the 84th annual Sisters Rodeo on Saturday in Sisters, Ore.Daniel Smithers / AB

The sold-out crowd sang along to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jason Janes initially said four people were injured, and noted that one or more people were injured amid the chaos of fleeing people.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District put the number of injured at five: two were gored by the bull and others were injured by responding crowds.

The injured may have had a broken collarbone; A woman with a leg wound; A woman with a broken nose; Another woman suffered facial injuries and, possibly, a broken nose; and a man with facial bruising and a head injury, spokeswoman Julie Spohr said by email.

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Three of the injured were taken to medical facilities by ambulance, one by private vehicle and another by sheriff’s cruiser, he said. All of their injuries were considered minor and none were discharged, he said.

“We are grateful to know that all of the injured are now at home,” Sisters Rodeo said in a separate statement Sunday.

Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the incident and responded to the private security breach, the lieutenant said. “It was contained very quickly,” Janes said.

Organizers said it was the first time anyone could recall such a breach since the first event in Sisters in 1940.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association praised the arena’s pickup men for quickly transporting the animal.

“We are grateful for the quick, professional response of our arena pickup men, rodeo staff and local first responders, who were able to prevent the situation from worsening,” it said in a statement.

According to PRCA information, the bull in question, Party Bus, competed in the Sisters Rodeo Extreme Bull Riding event on Wednesday and placed third in that first round.

Association spokeswoman Tracy Renck said in an email Monday that the party bus “has been removed from any PRCA sanctioned rodeos.”

The bull’s stock contractor, Corey & Lange Rodeo of Moses Lake, Washington, could not be reached for comment. Organizers of Saturday’s event said the bull was examined by veterinarians and is believed to be unharmed.

Janes said Saturday’s event was sold out, and he initially described the crowd size as hundreds. Organizers said their stadium has a capacity of 5,500.

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The five-day annual Sisters Rodeo Tournament went ahead with events scheduled for Sunday, organizers said.

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