Child Tragically Plunges From 100' Ferris Wheel.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 7:32 AM
From CNN.Com's Website and MSNBC's Website (same story)

I contributed this to the "news", but I'm not sure how fast it may or may not make it, so I thought I'd post it here since nobody else mentioned it yet.

A 6-year-old boy plunged 90 feet to his death from the top of a Ferris wheel while his mother watched from below at the San Joaquin County Fair.

Basically, accordingt o the article, the child was riding alone in the gondola (not your smaller ferris wheel where you can slip out), and fell out Sunday afternoon. The child tried to climb out of his seat, but it's not clear as to why. There's no age restrictions, just a minimal height restriction which the child met.

As tragic as this is, I'm not quite sure who's at fault or to blame here... the child, whom should have sat in place... or the mother for not going on the wheel with the child at such a young age, and trusting that a 6yr old won't figit around... especially on a ride where you're in a gondola that you can move around.

*** Edited 6/20/2006 12:56:41 PM UTC by DawgByte II***

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 7:48 AM
The child could have become frightened.
In that kind of situation some may try to climb out of what they are afraid of at the moment and not think climbing out is worse than sitting scared.

Very unfortunate. :-( *** Edited 6/20/2006 11:49:03 AM UTC by calcajun***

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 7:51 AM
What mother in her right head would let a 6 year old ride a ride like that alone? Sheesh!

MrScott *** Edited 6/20/2006 11:51:44 AM UTC by MrScott***

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 8:10 AM
Just read about this on CNN as well. Very sad.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 8:15 AM
I have a 6 year old daughter and would not let her ride a ferris wheel alone, expecially one with gondola's. She goes on certain rides alone like The Swings and Tilt-a-Whirl but she is secured in those rides. I'm sure the mother was just not thinking correctly but now she has to live with that which I know is going to be so hard. So sad.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:02 AM
Here's a more detailed story....

This one coming from RecordNet.com (news from Stockton, CA).


"This 6-year-old child should have never been allowed on an adult ride by themselves. ... That ride operator should have stopped that child from going on that ride," said Ken Martin, a national ride-safety consultant.

Can't just blame the ride attendant... the mother should be to blame as well. If the mom says "yes, you'te tall enough"... why would the blame be put on the ride-operator? They may know how the ride operates, but they could also assume that the child will obey the safety instructions. I see lawsuit coming on.


Experts say carnival rides are responsible for four to six deaths every year nationwide.

Hmm... people say carnival rides are safer than amusement rides because of the daily inspections when they're installed & torn down, but how does 4 to 6 deaths a year compare to the theme-park industry with year-long attractions?

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:12 AM
This is indeed tragic but I'm sure the amusement industry will take the brunt of this. In all reality, its both the mom and ride attendants fault. I ask myself these questions:
  1. What logically thinking parent would put their child on a ride like that by themself?
  2. what kind of ride operator would allow a 6 year old to get on by himself?

If I were the ride operator I would have pulled the parent aside and spoke to her the severity of the situation or placed the child in a gondola with a third party so he could have some sort of supervision. This is just so unnecessary.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:41 AM
Not to make light of the tragedy but every day kids die in pools and those stories don't make national headlines.

The amusement industry regularly gets bent over a chair and this is no exception. As I said in news...the ride operator is an idiot and should be punished but no more so than the mother.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:01 AM
Folks, why blame the ride op? Hes doing his job, the kid met the requriement and thats that. The world does not need to do your parenting for you!
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:21 AM
The usual policy on large Ferris Wheels is for children under 46" or 48" to ride with an adult. Under such circumstances, a gondola wheel is safe for small children. Such a rule would have prevented this tragedy from occurring.

The main reason for "kiddie" rides is that these rides are designed for small children to ride by themselves without an adult on board. Larger rides suitable for small children such as full-sized carousels, train rides, etc. generally have the same rules as the wheels.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 11:49 AM
Don't yell at me for saying this but...

Did the boy die at the scene or die on the way or in the hospital?

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 2:25 PM
We don't know everything that happened here. For all we know, the op let the kid on the ride only after a lengthy tirade from the mother about how her boy was tall enough, how dare you refuse to let him ride, blah, blah, blah. We've all seen episodes like that. But I suppose it's too un-PC to question the parenting, or lack thereof, in a tragedy like this.

Yes, the boy should never have been allowed to ride alone. But I hate the tone of these stories where they make it sound like the operators just snatch children from their bewildered parents and force them kicking and screaming to ride these "dangerous" rides alone and "unsecured." (BTW, is there such a thing as a gondola-type ferris wheel with restraints of any kind?)

I just read in out paper this morning that 67 people per year on average are killed in this country by lightning strikes. Maybe we need a taskforce to look into that too.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 2:33 PM
Did kid meet the height requirements? Was the operator running the ride in a normal manner?

If the answer to both of these questions is "Yes", then I see no way in the world that the operator could be at fault.


(BTW, is there such a thing as a gondola-type ferris wheel with restraints of any kind?)


If we see many more stories like this (and the lawsuits that will certainly follow), we may just see some sort of restrait showing up.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 2:54 PM
If I remember correctly, CP's gondola wheel has seatbelts, or at least it did when I visited back in 2001...
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 3:04 PM
Sad under any circumstances....total tragedy. :(


I'd like to once again mention that kids get taller faster nowadays, and that height alone is a *lousy* measure of maturity. That being said, who knows a kid's maturity level better, the child's parent, or a ride-op who has never even talked to the kid...

Sadly reminiscent of the Rye Playland Old Mill incident... :(

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 5:09 PM
I would like to know on what day this tragedy took place because if my six year old boy fell ninty feet to his death from a ferris wheel I would be balling my eyes out for weeks. I shouldn't jump conclusions here but she did not look as up set about the tragedy as she should be. Just talking about it would bring me to my knees.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 12:51 AM
And then there's the 2 year old boy who fell fom the Huss Rainbow at Dixie Landin':

http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?s=5013077

*** Edited 6/21/2006 4:52:11 AM UTC by thrillerman1***

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