5 injured in high wire accident ‘lucky to be alive,’ doctors say

WFLA photo

SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) –-Five performers were injured when they fell from a high wire on Wednesday afternoon in Sarasota.  At least two of the injured are members of the Wallenda family.

Eight acrobats were on the high wire at the time of the accident, including world-famous high wire performer Nik Wallenda. The performers were practicing a human pyramid act when one person lost their balance, causing the others to fall. Nik Wallenda was serving as an anchor on the pyramid but did not fall off.

“It’s a very difficult trick, obviously, there’s eight persons involved, and it’s obviously a lot of momentum involved, and if somebody loses a balance, then something can go wrong,” said Circus Arts Conservatory CEO Pedro Reis.

Firefighters responded to the call around 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Four patients were transported to a local hospital, their conditions were classified as “trauma alerts.” The four patients suffered substantial injuries, according to a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. Three of the trauma patients were transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. One trauma patient was transported to Blake Medical Center. A fifth patient was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

WFLA photo
WFLA photo

At least two patients are in critical condition, and one is in guarded condition.

Doctors expect all of them to survive, but said they are lucky to be alive considering how far they fell.

“There’s no fatalities, and I’m sure they’ll be back on their feet in a few months. Thank God,” said Reis.

The five people who were injured fell 20 to 25 feet from a high wire at the Circus Sarasota, which is located near Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, according to a Sarasota Fire Rescue spokesperson.


NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s