Fair witnesses: Runaway horse, spooked by fireworks, dies in accident

FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. — A horse was killed when it ran onto a Fayette County Road and was hit by an SUV last night.

The accident happened during a fireworks display at the annual Fayette County Fair.

"I took off running down here as fast as I could.  I know my horse doesn't like them, and everyone else's horses get scared, too," said Courtney Knopsnider.

Upset horse owners are demanding to know why the fireworks went off.

"Everybody's horses started going nuts.  People were getting bucked off and everything," said Knopsnider.

Police said one horse broke through his chain and got about a mile away from the fair on Route 119 when he was hit and killed by a passing car.

Friends of the young girl who lost her horse told Channel 11's Cara Sapida that she's devastated.

"My horse is like my best friend.  I couldn't imagine losing him," said Knopsnider.

According to the fair's website, fireworks were scheduled for Wednesday.  The fair posted on its Facebook page that fireworks were rescheduled for Thursday.

"Unfortunately we are being forced to reschedule our fireworks again. They will now be Thursday, July 31 at 9:30 p.m. We apologize!"

Thursday was the fair’s annual rodeo and horse judging events with about 100 horses on the fairgrounds.  Horse owners said they didn't know the fireworks were rescheduled.

Fair officials released this statement:

"The Fayette County Fair board is deeply saddened by the accident last night.  We are still gathering information and have no further comment at this time."

"I really hope the fair board understands it's not a safe idea.  Horses and fireworks don't mix," said Knopsnider.

Two people suffered minor injuries in the accident.