Arizona drivers got an unexpected surprise on Thursday as a giant pumpkin made its great escape by rolling down a busy intersection.
According to USA Today, the 25-foot-tall, 350-pound inflatable pumpkin broke loose from a promotional display at a local sports complex and took off down the road, barely missing drivers and pedestrians.
The owners of the giant smiling pumpkin, Patrick Sparkes and Shayne Smith of Big AZ Promotions, said the pumpkin was very heavy and was strapped to the ground to avoid an incident like this. They said they were shocked when they realized it had blown away.
— WPXI (@WPXI) October 31, 2015
“I was so shocked to see that it was like bouncing like a basketball all the way down the road,” said Patrick Sparkes, adding that they weren’t sure what to expect when they got the call saying the giant pumpkin was on the loose.
“We showed up and it wasn’t there and we spent the last 40 minutes driving around looking for it,” Sparkes said.
According to city officials, the giant pumpkin was part of a dispay promoting the Peoria Monster Bash at the Peoria Sports Complex. The high winds were said to have contributed to the pumpkin breaking loose.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 30, 2015
“This is so heavy, and the straps it just like ripped the rings out, went rolling down the streets,” said Shayne Smith.
Diego Ramirez, was standing near Peoria High School by 83rd Avenue and Peoria Avenue, when he saw the pumpkin go by. The sight was so strange that he decided to get out his phone to record a video. The video shows the pumpkin rolling across multiple lanes of traffic before it got stuck beneath a streetlight pole.
The pumpkin was eventually freed from the pole, and rolled off into the distance, traveling a quarter of a mile by bouncing over a wall, rolling through a business parking lot and eventually stopping in a neighborhood park. It was there that the pumpkin became stuck again. To remove it from the park, the owners had to deflate it and take it back to their store.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) October 30, 2015
“Like, oh my god, I didn’t know it was going to go that far,” Sparkes said.
While no one was injured during the great pumpkin escape, several light poles were damaged. They have since been repaired. Now, the owners of the pumpkin have to work on repairing the damages it sustained on its journey. They are hoping to have it fully repaired and back on display for Halloween.
The runaway pumpkin incident isn’t the first time a giant inflatable has blown away. In May 2014, three kids were injured after an inflatable bounce house was sent soaring over 100 feet in the air by a gust of wind in South Glen Falls, New York. The boys, who ranged in ages from five to six, were hospitalized, and one of them experienced head trauma, according to Boston.com.
South Glens Falls Police Patrolman David Gifford said the inflatable bounce house was blown several hundred yards before coming to a stop. Witnesses said the boys fell out of the structure at approximately 15 to 20 feet. One of the boys landed on a parked car, and the other landed on the asphalt.
“Luckily, they were tossed before it reached that height,” Gifford said. “It was found hundreds of yards away. It came very close to power lines.”
[Photo via Twitter]