Horse rears up, lands on top of Tennessee 12-year-old; Helmet saves her life

Savannah Brus (Brus family/WKRN)

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A helmet is being praised for saving a young girl’s life after her horse flipped and landed on top of her.

Savannah Brus, 12, has been showing her horse Cherry for five years, her mom Shanna Brus said.

Shanna is an instructor with the Lawrence County 4-H Horse Club.

“I showed horses growing up. I went to vet school to be an equine veterinarian. All of my kids ride. They each have their own horse.” she explained.

Tuesday during the club meet at the Brus’ barn, Shanna saw her daughter’s life flash before her eyes.

“Freak accidents happen. These are large animals. They are animals, they have a mind of their own,” she said.

Savannah was riding her mare when it reared up and landed on top of her.

“I knew before she hit the ground. I was screaming, call 911. She was going from cantering, flipped over, she squished her, then rolled on top of her to get up,” Shanna said.

Savannah was still on the horse, unconscious.

“My daughter was dangling from her stomach on the back of the horse with her head under [its] front legs. To be honest, when she first stood up and she was hanging there, I thought she was dead. She was just hanging,” Brus said with tears in her eyes.

Savannah was flown to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital where doctors say she has a fractured back and pelvis.

Her mom is staying focused on the positive, praising the helmet for saving her life.

“Her skull would have been that helmet,” she said.

Shanna said it takes 8,000 pounds of pressure to break the Troxel helmet her daughter was wearing.

“Eight-thousand pounds of pressure would have squished my daughters skull and she would not be here. I mean, she would have died instantly,” the mother explained.

The Brus’ hope by sharing Savannah’s story you will think twice about putting on a cowboy hat, before a helmet.

“Please put a helmet on your kid.”

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