Trainer at Harrah's Louisiana Downs collapses and dies

By Fred Childers - email | bio

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -    Typically the track at Louisiana Downs is filled with excitement, but this morning around 7:30, the feeling was desperation, as trainers watched one of their own, collapse.

Scotty Rushing, who is a jockey agent says he began to call for help from the nearby ambulance which was on the track and received no response.

Rushing says it appears his friend, Clint Thrasher had a heart attack on the outside of the track, and the casino's ambulance assigned to the inside of the track couldn't help. "A state policy, apparently which dictates that the ambulance must remain on the track while the race track is open," says Rushing.

But help was on the way, Bossier City had dispatched a fire engine and a trauma unit to the track with a five minute response time, but Rushing says from the time the man had actually collapsed to the time the man was taken to the hospital, fifteen minutes had passed."And I just think that's too long, it's unacceptable," says Rushing.

Before Bossier City arrived, Harrah's security reportedly tried to help. "A defibrillator had been used by security personnel from the casino," says Rushing.

But for Rushing and other trainers, the sight of an idle ambulance will stay with them.

"To have that happen the way that it happened it makes some of us doubt that if we were in a similar situation we would receive aid in a timely manner," says Rushing.

Thrasher was pronounced dead at Willis Knighton Bossier at 8:40 am.