Florida woman dies after head injury in Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo

Florida woman dies after head injury in Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo
Lara Dewees/Lara's Facebook page

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Florida woman was pronounced dead at a local hospital from injures she sustained in the Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo in February.

Lara Dewees, 28 of Dade City, Florida, was pronounced dead Sunday around noon, according to Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict.

Benedict said Dewees died of severe closed head injury she sustained at the rodeo on Feb. 20 in Forrest County.

According to WFLA in Tampa, Dewees was the mother of a 2-year-old son, Layton.

Dewees had recently gotten engaged, and was a school teacher at the Hernando School District for just over a year, where she taught middle and high school Social Studies with the Hernando e-School.

A Go-Fund Me page was set up for Dewees, and detailed what happened during the incident.

"She was making a really pretty barrel run, but when she got to the third barrel, her horse fell and during the fall, her bridle reins flipped over her horse's head. Her horse got up and proceeded to run out the arena, but Lara now had no reins. She was trying to reach down by her horse's head to regain control of the reins, but she was going way too fast it was just impossible for her to get them. Her horse continued to gain speed when coming out of the alley way.  When her horse hit the asphalt, she lost her footing, spun around and essentially pancaked, throwing Lara face first into the asphalt.  She was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. She sustained a head injury and several broken bones. Bless her heart, she's fighting for her life."

"It's a terrible tragedy and the entire board of supervisors is deeply saddened by it," Forrest County Board of Supervisors President David Hogan said.