The Nebraska state fair was marred this week by the tragic death of a southwest Iowa teen in a fluke accident. Deb Collins is spokesperson for the Nebraska State Patrol. She says 13-year-old Eric Epperson of Griswold, Iowa, was killed when he was thrown from a golf cart driven by a 14-year-old boy from Des Moines. Investigators say the golf cart turned into the campgrounds on the north side of the state fair park, and when a pickup truck pulling a camper came along the teen who was driving tells investigators he turned sharply and Epperson fell out. The Griswold boy hit his head on pavement and was taken to a Lincoln hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Collins said the boys were friends, through their families. She says both the parents of both boys were vendors who traveled the “fair circuit,” and investigators have been told the boys would hook up when their folks were at the same fair — they got together and became buddies. The Nebraska state fair park is big, about 250 acres, and Collins says golf carts aren’t rare. Collins says the boys weren’t breaking any rules by driving one on the fair’s perimeter. She says vendors use them to transport their goods back and forth, and she says there are “a lot of small little vehicles running about the state fair.” Fair officials say there are no age restrictions or helmet requirements for such carts on the fairgrounds. The investigation’s continuing but she’s talked with the investigator compiling reports. Though the details will be turned over to the Lancaster County Attorney, they don’t expect any charges to be filed in the case.
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