Earlier this summer, we wrote about a horrifying incident where a girl was scalped on an amusement ride. Unfortunately, another amusement park ride accident has occurred in Tennessee. Three young girls fell 45 feet from a Ferris wheel at the Greene County Fair. One girl hit the gondola below, then a support bar and landed on the hard ground, breaking her arm. The second was treated for a critical condition and has since become stable. The younger girl, however, fell straight to the ground and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She is still in the hospital in critical condition.
According to police reports, the Ferris wheel accident was caused by deteriorated rivet fasteners, which allowed a piece to become lodged in the frame of the wheel. This overturned the gondola holding the three children.
Who is Responsible for Ferris Wheel Accidents?
Local police say the ride was set up properly. That said, it is likely the accident did not occur due to an assembly error. Ferris wheel accidents can occur due to the following reasons:
- Mechanical defect – Mechanical defects can result in rides failing or operate in an unexpected way. However, they can be prevented by frequent inspections and maintenance.
- Operator error – Typically, this can occur when workers are not properly trained, do not properly secure passengers or do not follow proper procedures to keep passengers safe.
- Defective ride design – When a ride has a defective design, passengers experience excessive forces or the ride tips over, which can result in life-changing injuries.
According to a study conducted by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 92,885 children were injured from 1990 to 2010 due to amusement ride accidents. This averages out to more than 4,000 injuries per year. More than 70 percent of those injuries occurred during summer months. The study also found head and neck injuries were the most common types of injuries, accounting for almost 30 percent.
While some of the accidents are no one’s fault, many can be attributed to negligence, slip and fall accidents, defective products, operator error or poorly maintained rides. At the moment, there is no federal program that oversees safety standards for this particular injury. Though, maybe there should be one.
Stanley A. Davis is a Nashville personal injury attorney that has been helping those injured due to negligence for more than 10 years.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9