16 in ER after Poth Mudfest

Event drew estimated 4,000-5,000 people

Published On: Dec 10 2012 06:46:03 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 11 2012 04:19:20 AM CST
POTH, Texas -

What began as a birthday party on private property in 2007 has grown into a business that, according to authorities, brought between 4,000 and 5,000 people to Poth for a no holds barred wild weekend of four-wheel drive fishtailing in the mud.

"They have a big hole, basically it's called a pit. It's got mud in it and now they add oil to make it slicker," said concerned mother, Deon Bandy.

Bandy said her 17-year-old son was taken to Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville after being hit by a truck doing a donut in the pit.

"He hit my son and my son flew across the mud. My son had a gash on his neck from here to here. He has a cut on his eye, a cut on the side of his face, his nose was busted, his lip was busted," said Bandy.

A hospital spokeswoman reported 16 people from Mudfest on December 1st were seen in the emergency room at Connally, some for alcohol poisoning, others for lacerations and major broken bones.

The reality is people come and play at their own risk.

Event organizer Russell Dworaczyk said he doesn't serve alcohol and he doesn't promote minors drinking, although anyone who will sign a waiver and pay the $20 entrance fee at the door is allowed in.

Dworaczyk hired off-duty Wilson County deputies to work security for the event, but Sheriff Joe Tackitt said six officers wasn't nearly enough for the crowd it drew.

"As wild as it's gotten and as many people as there are there, they don't want to pay for enough security to be there so we're not gonna work it anymore, or I'm not gonna allow my officers to work it anymore," said Tackitt.

Bandy wonders why Tackitt didn't send patrol officers in to help out.

"On patrol, we only have three or four on so you know we can't make it out there because another thing, it takes so long for an officer to make it from the main road to the event," Tackitt said.

He thinks it's premature to shut it down, but admits he may be taking issues of security to the county judge before the next Mudfest rolls around.

Tackitt said in past years, deputies have issued minors possession tickets, but he couldn't say how many, if any, were issued at Saturday's event.