Drone crashes into Virginia bull run crowd

A drone crashed into the grandstand at Virginia Motorsports Park during Saturday's Great Bull Run.

August 26, 2013

An aerial drone, a pilotless aircraft of the type that has aroused intense public discussion in recent months, crashed Saturday into the stands at a public event in Virginia that has also aroused heated discourse.

A drone crashed into the grandstand at Virginia Motorsports Park during the Great Bull Run, said Major W.B. Knott, of the Dinwiddie County sheriff’s office, reporting what might be described as the dramatic encounter between a controversial piece of hardware and a controversial spectacle.

Knott said he was told that four or five people suffered very minor injuries. They were treated by EMS personnel at the event, and none was taken to a hospital, Knott said.

The bull run was billed as a daylong festival featuring bands, drinking, games and a tomato fight. The highlight was to be four scheduled bull runs in which participants were to try to elude or outrace 24 hefty specimens of male livestock.

Animal rights organizations have contended that the event endangered both people and bovines.

A Richmond area television station, WTVR-Channel 6, said the drone was being used to capture video of the event, though it was not operated by or recording for WTVR-TV.

When most Americans think of drones, they see military machines used to monitor and kill terrorists abroad. But more and more people are using them in ways you wouldn't expect. The Fold's Gabe Silverman introduces us to some of the engineers hoping to change your mind about drones. (The Washington Post)

In video posted on the station’s Web site, the drone was seen hovering above the stands. It appeared to be about four feet in diameter and reminiscent of a spider, with numerous appendages projecting from a central core. Then, it suddenly dipped and fell into the midst of about a dozen spectators. Others rushed toward the place where it came down. One picked it up and put it aside.

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