Only One of Injured Acrobats Can Walk
Samantha Pitard says she wants to perform again
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
In this undated family photo, Samantha Pitard, left, poses for a photo with Andrey Medeiros.   (AP Photo/Wayne T. Pitard)

(Newser) – Only one of the acrobats who fell during a circus act last weekend has been released, and she wants back in the ring—but the others may not perform or even walk again, the AP reports. Their 20-foot fall during a hair-hanging act left several in intensive care, with injuries including spinal fractures, broken joints and bones, and a lacerated liver. The two worst-injured can barely move their legs. "We are certain they can make some sort of a recovery," a doctor at their Rhode Island hospital told NBC News. "Whether they can perform, do handstands and do things like that ... we’re working on that."

Some may be released in a few days, but face months of physical therapy—which they've asked to do in the same rehabilitation facility. The one who's out, Samantha Pitard, told ABC News that she bit her tongue in the fall and it's "kind of messed up." She took a step-by-step attitude: "For now, it’ll be a while and it’s not sure if any of us will be doing hair again," she said. "I will, eventually, not sure when yet, go back to the show." Meanwhile, investigators say the broken clip that caused the accident was either manufactured badly or improperly used (see a detailed picture of it at the Boston Globe). The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily circus plans to perform tomorrow in Hartford, Conn., but won't do the hair-hanging act.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
May 8, 2014 6:09 AM CDT
I wonder how many of those performers were crippled when the circus dimmed the lights and quickly snatched them off the concrete. Did they use backboards?
May 8, 2014 1:53 AM CDT
If I were Samantha Pitard I'd be thinking real serious about an alternate career. I assume her coworkers, who still can't walk at this moment, are doing the same.
May 7, 2014 5:33 PM CDT
Whose bright idea was it to suspend young women by their hair in the first place? And why would anyone go along with it?