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***
Very unfortunate. :-( *** Edited 6/20/2006 11:49:03 AM UTC by calcajun***
MrScott *** Edited 6/20/2006 11:51:44 AM UTC by MrScott***
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?
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.
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.
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.
Did the boy die at the scene or die on the way or in the hospital?
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.
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.
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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