A professional bull rider appeared to have a handle on what would be his final ride before he was thrown off and suffered a fatal injury, a witness told CBS Denver station KCNC-TV. , 25, died Tuesday night at a Denver hospital after the bull who threw him stepped on his chest, according to the Professional Bull Riders association.
"It looked like he had it handled, and he got bucked off at the last second," Raymond Lewis told KCNC-TV. Officials from the bull riders association told the station that Lowe, who was ranked 18th in the world, had been wearing a protective vest.
When the back leg of the bull, named Hard Times, hit Lowe's chest, the arena fell silent, Lewis told the station. "It was pretty serious," he said.
Lowe was able to stand as rodeo clowns created some distance between the animal and the rider, Lewis said. "He got up, staggered towards the exit and collapsed down," he said.
"Everyone took their hats off and said some prayers," Lewis said. The National Western Stock Show paid tribute to Lowe before Wednesday night's competition.
"I'm sure tonight I will be in tears," rodeo fan Emily Godert told KCNC-TV before the event. A fundraiser was also held in the arena for Lowe's family.
A fundraising campaign for the family has also been started on GoFundMe. Officials from the bull riders association said that Hard Times would continue to be used in competitions, according to KCNC-TV.