Zombie attraction turns fatal at corn maze on Idaho-Washington border

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 11, 2014 5:47 PM

By Letitia Stein

(Reuters) - A teenager playing a zombie at a Halloween-themed corn maze was killed after falling under the event's "Zombie Slayer Paintball Bus," authorities said on Saturday, as the northwestern Idaho attraction's patrons thought it was just part of the act.

Jeremy T. McSpadden Jr., 18, appeared to die instantly after falling under the rear passenger wheels of the bus on Friday night, stumbling as he emerged wearing a mask and hockey gloves to run toward the bus from his hiding place in the maze.

Inside the rocking vehicle, which was creeping forward on uneven terrain, nobody immediately realized what had happened, authorities said. The attraction's riders had paid to shoot at the attacking zombies, pretending to slay them with paintball guns mounted outside the windows of a modified school bus.

"Everyone just thought it was part of the act," said Sgt. Ward Crawford, a traffic team supervisor with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho.

He said the other zombie players realized what happened after the bus moved on and the teenager from Spokane Valley, Washington, remained motionless.

This was the first year for the zombie attraction at the Incredible Corn Maze in Hauser, Idaho, located about 30 minutes from Spokane.

Authorities said in an media release that they did not believe alcohol was a factor.

On a post its Facebook page on Saturday, the Incredible Corn Maze said all attractions had been canceled for the rest of the weekend.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Frank McGurty and David Gregorio)