Post to Facebook. Wallendas have tragic history in Detroit The troupe lost two members in when their seven-member pyramid act when wrong Check out this story on Freep.
Cancel Send. Comments Welcome to our new and improved comments , which are for subscribers only. Published a. ET Nov. The Wallendas circus troupe walk the high wire during their three-tier, seven-man pyramid performance at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit, Michigan on Jan. Second row, left to right, Karl Wallenda, 57; Herman Wallenda, Sitting on chair is Jana Schepp, Karl's son-in-law Faughnan and nephew Schepp were killed when the pyramid formation collapsed and the performers fell to the ground.
Dieter's sister Jana and Karl's son Mario were injured. Associated Press. Circus performer Jana Schepp, 17, a member of the famed Wallenda highwire circus act, holds on to three members of the act—and is held by them—after the feature oftheir act, a human pyramid, collapsed causing several members to fall, Jan.
Schepp was caught by the men as she fell and they held her until a makeshift net was rigged. Of the three performers being treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, two were listed in critical condition and one was listed in guarded condition on Wednesday, CNN reports.
Alan Brockhurst told the site that all three are expected to survive. In , two members of the Flying Wallendas group died and another was paralyzed after a performer lost his balance during an attempt at a seven-person pyramid in Detroit, CNN reports. Years later, in , Karl Wallenda died on a high-wire walk between two towers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the site.
In , Karl put together his own act with his brother Herman, Joseph Geiger, and a teenage girl, Helen Kreis, who eventually became his wife. The act toured Europe for several years, performing some amazing stunts. In , they debuted at the Madison Square Garden. The act performed without a net it had been lost in transit and the crowd gave them a standing ovation.
In , while the Wallendas were performing in Hartford, Connecticut , a circus fire broke out, killing over people. None of the Wallendas were hurt. In the following years, Karl developed some of their most impressive acts, such as the seven-person chair pyramid. They continued performing those acts until January 30, when, while performing at the Shrine Circus at Detroit 's State Fair Coliseum , the front man on the wire Dieter Schepp faltered and the pyramid collapsed.
Three men fell to the ground, killing Richard Faughnan, Wallenda's son-in-law; and nephew Dieter Schepp. Karl injured his pelvis, and his adopted son, Mario , was paralyzed from the waist down. Other tragedies include when Wallenda's sister-in-law, Rietta, fell to her death in , and his son-in-law Richard "Chico" Guzman was killed in after touching a live electric wire while holding part of the metal rigging.
Nonetheless, Karl decided to go on. He repeated the pyramid act in and Karl continued performing with a smaller group, and doing solo acts. It was between the towers of Condado Plaza Hotel, one hundred feet high.
He was Nik Wallenda completed the walk on June 4, , with his mother, Delilah. CORNISH: You know, after these tragedies - losing her husband, losing her dad - why do you think she did go back to the work - go back on the wire, as you say? You know, my mom was six months pregnant with me and walking the wire still. So I was walking the wire longer than I've been alive and my grandmother had walked the wire since she was a small child.
And it is not a career. It's not an occupation, but it's life. My great-grandfather Karl Wallenda said life is on the wire, and everything else is just waiting.
And I truly believe her challenge was staying off of that wire, even though she was bitter towards - if it makes any sense - towards that wire itself because of the loss of her husband, the loss of her father.
It still was something from within. It still was a passion that she couldn't give up. Thank you so much for speaking to us about her. All rights reserved.Skip to main content. The Wallendas' tragedy in Detroit. 6 PHOTOS.