10-Month-Old Baby Escapes Injury During Bellevue Parade
By Mark Geary, Reporter
BELLEVUE – A tragic Fourth of July parade in a Mississippi River community continues to haunt the town of Bellevue.
60-year-old Janet Steines of Springbrook died when two horses broke free and charged into the crowd during the Heritage Days event. She and her husband were operating the buggy attached to the horses. 24 others, including 15 children, were also injured.
Authorities believe one horse knocked the bridal off the other which startled the animals. Then, the animals ran wild for six blocks.
Teri Feyen of Dubuque got trampled by the horses while she was watching the parade with her family. Feyen's left leg has two broken bones. Her right foot is also fractured.
"I remember not knowing what was going on. Then, feeling fur. Then, the stomp. Then, I saw the horses," she said.
At the time, Feyen was holding her ten-month-old son, Maximus. Her husband pushed them out of the way and probably saved their lives.
"I jumped on top of them and I thought I had crushed my son because I saw him on the ground. He was lying face down on the ground. I thought I had crushed him," Brian Feyen said. "I couldn't believe he was still alive...I didn't have time to think. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, is this really happening?' Your brain doesn't have time to process. You just act."
Little Maximus is fine and doesn't have any injuries.
Teri Feyen will be on crutches for awhile, but she's more concerned about others than her own recovery.
"We just are praying for all of those other children and families out there because this is a minor injury as far as I'm concerned," she said. "We just feel so blessed that this happened to me and not to our child."
The Feyens say they'll never forget this holiday weekend, but they believe this was all just a freak accident. They plan to attend the parade again next year.
However, Dan Schmidt's six-year-old son, Adam, wasn't quite as lucky as Maximus. Adam has a broken leg and some internal injuries.
"He's doing better. He's responding to medications and he's getting color back," Schmidt said. "We know he's going to be alright. There's nothing wrong with him that's not going to heal."
Doctors plan to release Adam from the hospital soon.
Back along the parade route, there's no sign of the tragedy that happened there, but the town still has quite a lot of healing left to do.
"We're coping the best we can. There's kind of a numbness here. Did it really happen? Almost like you think it didn't really happen," Bellevue Mayor Virgil Murray said.