Amber Byrd: I’m feeling so incredibly lucky today

After a heavy lighting structure fell in high winds mid-pageant, the woman who was injured just feels grateful that nobody was more seriously hurt

Photo: Rich Wheatley

Amber Byrd, an auditor at the Miss La Paz pageant, tells Parker Live her leg is bruised and swollen but she’s fine after a lighting rig fell on her Friday night at the County Fair. Amber was an auditor at the pageant, which is affiliated with the Miss America Organization.

“We had two pageants going on at once, with separate score sheets and lots to keep track of at one time,” Amber said. “My head was down, buried working. The dust was so bad I couldn’t move my finger on the computer trackpad. Our sweatshirts were up over our heads to protect us. About 15 to 20 minutes before it happened, we were thinking this is crazy. The stage was covered in sand.”

As Parker Live reported Saturday morning, the rig came down after an especially large gust of wind came through like a microburst.

“I saw it coming,” Amber said. “I looked over my shoulder, and I saw it and dove and covered my head, and it hit me on my outer thigh. I couldn’t get away fast enough. Missy [Gilbert] came to get me up, and I couldn’t move my leg. They came and assessed me and I couldn’t lift my leg and I couldn’t stand. That’s what scared me and that’s when they decided to take me to the hospital.”

Witnesses said they saw sparks flying from the lighting, and chaos as people tried to figure out who had been hurt. Ultimately Amber was taken to La Paz Regional Hospital for an evaluation.

“They x-rayed it and thankfully it’s not broken or anything, but it was trauma to the muscle tissue from the impact. So as time went on I was able to get moving again. It’s scraped up and I’m swollen and bruised but thank God that’s all that happened.”

Amber says her daughter and Missy’s son were sitting behind them at the time.

“They jumped up and it scraped my daughter, but the chairs they were sitting on got crushed,” she said.

“I’m just feeling so, so incredibly lucky today.”

The pageant was concluded at Blake Primary School as Amber was being seen at the hospital. She says she got home around 2am.



  1. Candi Evans

    Thank God no one was seriously hurt. This should of never happened. Why did they not cancel the event at the fair grounds and relocate sooner?

  2. Sally Reno

    Amber was very lucky. There was devine intervention with the children behind her. Their chairs were crushed after they got away.

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