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Auditor sore but bouncing back following fall in parade

Sometimes the parade just passes you by.

That's what happened to Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke around 10:45 a.m. Saturday after she tumbled off the back of former state Sen. Ed Olson's 1989 Chevrolet Corvette during the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo parade.

Kiepke was riding on the sports car as part of her campaign for re-election.

According to police reports, Olson's Corvette accelerated suddenly and Kiepke lost her balance and fell off the back of the car. The incident occurred near the intersection of Main Street and Eighth Avenue.

"Maybe I'll get some sympathy votes," she joked Sunday.

In addition to a few cracked ribs, Kiepke said she suffered numerous scrapes and bruises. "I'm sore," she said, "and my ribs and feet hurt terribly."

Olson may be charged with careless driving, said Mitchell Patrol Officer Dan Fechner, but the investigation is ongoing.

Kiepke said she wasn't ready for the rapid acceleration and did "a somersault or two" off the back of the car.

Kiepke, who is up for reelection, said she decided to ride in the parade rather than walk in it because she had been experiencing some back problems.

She ended the episode with a longer list of infirmities.

"I could have been hurt a lot worse than I was," Kiepke said. "I hit my head but I must have instinctively tucked my head and rolled, so I didn't hurt my neck."

A Mitchell Ambulance unit was only a few blocks away when the incident happened, she said. "They loaded me up on a (back) board, put on a neck brace and took me to the hospital for more tests," she said.

The parade made its way around the accident scene and campaigning also resumed.

About seven volunteers continued to hand out campaign leaflets, Kiepke said, and Olson finished the parade without his passenger.

"People probably wondered where the heck I was," she said.