Mum, 34, dies after 'being hit by wooden horse costume' at May Day Obby Oss parade

A 34-YEAR-OLD woman has died after allegedly being hit by a wooden horse costume during a traditional May Day festival.

Laura Smallwood suffered serious neck injuries during the centuries-old Obby Oss parade in Padstow, Cornwall.

Police are investigating whether she was struck by the Oss itself — an oval frame covered in black oilskin which is worn through the streets by a dancer.

However officers also suspect she may have been assaulted earlier in the evening, an hour before she collapsed on Wednesday evening.

Heartbroken friends took to social media to pay tribute to the mum-of-two after she died in hospital today.

One wrote: "Heaven has gained another angel. Far too soon, love you always."

Another said: "Truly unbelievable – just don't have words."

Many changed their profile pictures to include Laura.


Detective Inspector Paul Norlund said: "Our thoughts and sympathies are with Laura's family at this very sad time.

"We continue to follow a number of lines of enquiry to establish how Laura sustained her injuries.

"At this time, we would like to hear from any witnesses and anyone with information, particularly anyone with any relevant mobile phone or camera footage taken around the event."

The Obby Oss event sees dancers parade through the town with stylised recreations of two horses — the Old and Blue Ribbon Osses.

They are accompanied by drummers and triangle and accordion players.

Emergency services were called at 7.30pm after the woman collapsed in St Saviours Lane and became unresponsive.

The woman, from Padstow, was resuscitated and airlifted to Derriford Hospital with a serious neck injury.

Police today confirmed she has since died.

It is believed that the woman may have been assaulted by another woman earlier in the evening, the spokesman said.

This may have occurred at about 6.30pm in the vicinity of the London Inn in Church Lane.


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Detective Inspector Pete Found said: "We are following a number of lines of enquiry to establish how the woman sustained her injuries.

"We would like to hear from any witnesses to either reported incident and would especially like to request any relevant mobile phone or camera footage taken around the event."

Anybody with information or footage is asked to contact police via [email protected] or by phone on 101, quoting log number 116 of 01/05/19.

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