Drone crashes into crowd during Va. running of the bulls event

WASHINGTON – Police are trying to find the owner of a drone that crashed into a crowd during a running of the bulls event in Virginia over the weekend.

A video captured a spider-like drone flying above Virginia Motorsports Park in North Dinwiddie, Va., when it suddenly dipped and crashed into the grandstand.

The Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office says several people had very minor injuries.

Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Major William Knott says the drone that crashed was one of two carrying cameras over the event and he says they don’t know yet who was operating the drones. They also don’t know if any laws or regulations were broken.

“I don’t know if there is something in the code that address this,” he says. “I’m just gonna have to investigate this further.”

Delegate Ben Cline, R-Bath, who had proposed a two-year moratorium on police use of drones due to privacy concerns, says the crash now raises additional safety concerns about drones. The proposed moratorium legislation was pushed back for more study.

“This presents the same danger that helicopters and other private aircraft create and the more of them that are flying in the sky the more danger there is for the people on the ground,” Cline says.

He adds there is likely to be a bigger effort to regulate drone use in Virginia as a result of the incident.

The incident happened Saturday at the Great Bull Run, which featured numerous activities, including the signature event — a running of the bulls inspired by the annual event in Pamplona, Spain.

WTVR-Channel 6 in Richmond reported the drone was taking video of the event, which was protested by some animal rights groups who said in put people and animals in danger.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg and Mitch Miller contributed to this report. Follow @hsilverbergwtop and @WTOP on Twitter.


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