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Mules run loose, hurt 3 at parade

Emergency workers load three people into ambulances after a mule-drawn carriage at the Labor Day parade in Wagner went out of control and injured three people. According to police, the injured people were taken to Wagner Community Memorial Hospital Avera for minor injuries. At least one of the victims was released Monday afternoon. (Chris Huber/Republic Photo)

WAGNER -- A mule-drawn wagon went out of control during Wagner's Labor Day parade Monday and struck and injured three people.

Wagner Police Senior Officer Tom Pranger said the mules were spooked and started running down the parade route on Cedar Street.

The injured people, whose names were not released, were taken to Wagner Community Memorial Hospital Avera to be treated for minor injuries. At least one was released Monday, according to Pranger, and he said the other two would likely be released on Monday as well.

The wagon was being used as a float for Northwest Veterinary Supply when a dog apparently spooked the mules, according to Pranger. The parade continued during and after the accident.

Cheryl Dziowge, of Inman, Neb., said she witnessed the accident and told her husband Chuck to get back as the wagon ran over two parade goers before coming to a stop next to a tree in front of them.

Dan Bures, of Mitchell, said the mules were coming full bore even though the driver was pulling back on the reins. Bures said part of the bridle had come off and was dragging on the ground as the animals kicked it while running.

Pranger said it was an unfortunate accident, but he was pleased how the department's Emergency Operations Center handled the situation. No charges have been filed and he said none were anticipated.

"As far as I can tell it was an accident," Pranger said. "It was just one of those things."