High-wire performer plunges 30 feet during Slidell show

Published: Oct. 17, 2013 at 2:06 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2013 at 2:19 AM CDT
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SLIDELL, La. -  A high-wire performer is recovering after she plunged 30 feet during an act Wednesday at Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell.

Yeisey, a performer from Columbia, was performing with the Tabares High Wire group as part of the traveling Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars.

The show's ringmaster described the fall.

"She tried to grab onto the cable that's in the middle," said Ringmaster Chris Connors. "A safety net holds the balance of the high wire. Instead of grabbing onto it, she pretty much hit it with her arm. She went down in the right ring in front of me."

Connors said Yeisey is able to move her hands and legs, and she is responsive.

Her fellow performers are all family - most of them cousins.

They continued on with the 7:30 p.m. show after Yeisey was taken out of the ring in an ambulance just hours earlier.

Connors said one of the male performers was supposed to jump over Yeisey and two others while holding the balance pole.

"He dropped the pole, he grabbed on, he tried to go for her but it was just too much," said Connors.

Yeisey was not wearing a safety harness.

The ringmaster said for the late show he instructed the performers to wear the safety harnesses more often.

One of the performers looked like he slipped and fell during the late show, but he was able to grab onto the cable and hoist himself back up.

"You know, this is live entertainment," said Connors. "The circus in America has been around for a long time, and that's the excitement - the thrill, the chill. You know you get to see tigers and elephants up close, and fortunately we don't see this everyday, but it does happen."

Yeisey was recovering in the hospital Wednesday evening with her brother by her side.

The Cole Bros. Circus of the stars will be in Slidell Thursday before they head to Metairie and then Houma.