It's not necessarily a common sight today when a Mormon wagon train heads west into Utah
after a 1,050-mile journey. But it happened when a group of Mormons re-enacted a trek which actually took place
more than 150 years ago.
Modern-day pioneers retracing the footsteps of their Mormon ancestors were horrified Monday by a sight that
could have come from a Hollywood western: a runaway covered wagon.
Just a day before the three-month trek from Nebraska to Utah was to come to an end, a mule-drawn wagon negotiating
a steep hillside outside Salt Lake City hit a rut or bump, throwing the driver off. Then the mules bolted, throwing
one of two women aboard off. Another woman and three children remained on board.
After the wheels were ripped away, the wagon came to rest upright. Three people received minor injuries. Wagon
driver Val Robbins, 59, broke his wrist. Katherine Goodfellow, 62, and her granddaughter Tori Goodfellow, 11,
suffered neck pain. They are all from Burley, Idaho. All three had their injuies treated at a hospital and then
returned to the wagon train to finish their journey.
"It was just an incredible, amazing wagon wreck," says Dan Rascan, a witness and spokesman for the Church of
Latter-day Saints. "It's a miracle they walked away from it, that no one was seriously injured. I thought for sure
after seeing it I was going to see somebody dead up there. That's how scary it was.
Today the 1,050-mile journey ends in Salt Lake City, which Brigham Young declared to be the new home of his
persecuted followers 150 years ago. The Mormon Pioneer Trail wagon train, a caravan of more than 60 wagons, as well
as horseback riders and hundreds of walkers will march into This is the Place State Park.
Accidents and injuries have been few and minor throughout the journey, chiefly a few broken bones and bruises from people
falling off horses or wagons.
Quelle: Discover..The American West. Exploring New Worlds