At least five people were injured, two with serious injuries, after a tree came crashing down on a wagon at Zootastic Park in Iredell County Saturday afternoon.
Officials said 50 people were on the wagon when a 112-foot tree fell over on top of them. Officials told Channel 9 that adults and children were on the wagon.
Zootastic is a privately owned zoo located in Troutman.
A witness said the wagon's metal cover collapsed on a woman's head and a young boy badly injured his leg. Both were rushed to a hospital.
“It all happened too quick," witness Owen Parker said. "That tree probably weighs 10,000 pounds."
Parker said his wife was inches from where the tree landed.
“Now, I realize that if that tree didn't fall between the trailers more people would have gotten hurt,” he said. “It's a good thing nobody died.”
Scottie Brown, the park’s owner, told Channel 9 he wasn’t aboard the wagon, but he quickly heard about the incident.
“What is that? I said, ‘That's probably a tree falling,’ There are 120 acres here, so trees fall all the time,” he said. “Wasn’t no big deal, but then we heard a scream*
Brown said the tree trunk landed in between two wagons and avoided direct contact with the wagon that was struck.
“If it would've been two feet farther forward or two feet backward, it would've landed on the wagon and it would've killed somebody," Brown said.
Parker said that once the tree crashed, the people in the wagon tried to get out, but some couldn’t get out.
“We all kind of hunkered down between the seat,” Parker said.
Brown isn’t sure why the tree fell, but he said at least 10,000 people took a wagon on the two-day stretch on Saturday.
“It’s not a bad idea to get an arborist in here and let him check them, because we don't know,” Brown said.
This is a developing story. Check with WSOCTV.com for updates.