LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. -- A son of country music singer Helen Cornelius was gored by a bull and killed during a weekend rodeo he was participating in, his father said.
Joseph Cornelius, 20, of Columbia, Tenn., died of a punctured artery to the heart after being thrown about 6 feet into the air, horned and then stomped by a bull nicknamed 'Hooker' Saturday night, police said.
'The bull just threw him and hooked him like a rag doll,' said the boy's father, Lewis Cornelius on Sunday. 'Then, after he tossed him in the air and hooked him, the bull stomped on him in a grinding motion.'
The accident took place in Rotary Park befori 5,000 spectators.
Helen Cornelius had just returned from a road trip when she was informed by rodeo officials at her Brentwood home of her son's accident.
'They telephoned us and just told us Joey was hurt,' said her husband, Jerry Garren. 'They didn't tell us that he was critical and about to die.'
Garren said it took the couple two hours to get to the hospital. When they arrived, they were told he had been dead for about an hour.
Preston Fowlkes, owner of the rodeo, said Cornelius was a good rider and the incident was just a freak accident.
'Joey knew when he stepped up on that bull that there was a chance of getting hurt,' said Fowlkes.
Services were scheduled Tuesday at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin.