Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade was marred by the death of a performer when an elderly clown collapsed and died. The Associated Press reports that a 67-year-old clown from Yonkers went into cardiac arrest in front of terrified spectators while making balloon animals at Sixth Avenue and West 39th St. on Thursday.
The New York Daily News posted a series of photos that were taken shortly after the collapse. They show Robert Blasetti, the 67-year-old man who died during the Thanksgiving parade, as he was put into an ambulance, along with the shocked spectators around him.
Blasetti’s wife, Irene, who was wearing a matching clown outfit, reportedly attempted to give her husband CPR, according to the New York Post. Her attempt was ineffective.
A bystander took over the CPR efforts to revive the fallen performer. The Daily News published photos of Blasetti’s wife weeping in a cart as she was transported from the scene.
“All of a sudden he collapsed and fell on his back,” the post said witness Tuvia Yannik said. “People came to him right away. It didn’t look like he was breathing. People started pumping his chest.”
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The Post states that they do not know exactly how long it took an ambulance to get through the packed streets. There were conflicting reports from witnesses.
It has not yet been confirmed by Macy’s officials if Blasetti was an employee of the company.
"We are saddened to report that a marcher in the Macy’s Parade suffered a medical emergency,” said Macy’s spokesman Orlando Veras, according to the Post. An ambulance was there “within a minute.”
Charles Sutton, 58, also suffered a fatal heart attack, but not during the parade. The civilian NYPD employee collapsed as he connected a car to be towed off the parade route at West 57th Street and Sixth Avenue.
Both men were pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital.