Fairgoers catch toddler hanging from fair ride

Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008 9:33 AM | Contributed by kevin38

A group of fairgoers caught and saved a toddler who was dropped nearly 40 feet from a carnival ride as her mother dangled above the crowd.

Read more from WKMG/Orlando.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 11:56 AM

40 FEET???

Looks to me like the bottom of the carrage only goes about 20... if that (figure the man in the top left photo is 6' tall). I mean, this was a terrible thing to happen, don't get me wrong, but for goodness sake... I hate how reporters exaggerate the specs, common or not.

http://www.flatrides.com/Ride%20Index%20Pages/crazybus.html

Remember the Son Of Beast incident from a couple years ago? The reporter said "the train was suspended from the structure" when it was only stopped on the lift hill.

I hate the media.

Last edited by john peck, Wednesday, October 8, 2008 11:57 AM
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 12:05 PM

Does it really matter if it was 20 or 40 feet?

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 1:00 PM

^ Of course it doesn't matter, Jeff. I just hate how the media stretches the truth all the time, that was the point I was making.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 2:55 PM

Gosh darn "Liberal" media...you betcha! Wink wink. ;)

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 4:02 PM

I just don't buy it as being sensational or an intentional attempt to make it worse than it was. I mean, where do you find out how high one of these things go?

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 4:17 PM

If I were a reporter I would bet that I would know where to find out. Yeah, there's not a lot of difference between 20 and 40 feet, except that one fall might be fatal while the other results in injuries. Then again, you can die from 10 feet up if you fall bad.

That said, I think it was sloppy reporting. Any reporter worth their salt would have at least tried to contact the ride manufacturer, the carnival in question, or another carnival to get the height correct. The other option is to ::gasp:: actually go to the scene of the accident and look at the ride.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 5:03 PM

Even if it wasn't an attempt to sensationalize, doesn't accuracy or diligence count for anything in reporting anymore? The reporter's job is to represent what happened at the scene to people who aren't there. The difference between 20 and 40 feet is two building stories. It's not a trivial amount that you can simply round off.

Where would someone find out how high this goes? Maybe go to google.com and type in "crazy bus amusement ride" for starters? (The flat joint site was third on the list when I checked for the "general buzz" story. Now it's on page 4, because the first 3 are all items about a toddler dangling 40 feet above the ground from a crazy bus.) Then I could google "Zamperla" and see what's on their site. OK, if I'm not too bright, I might not know which flag to click on to get a language I understood. But a supposedly intelligent person (like a reporter) could find out in around 3 minutes that the ride is 22'-10 7/16" high. And that's the total height-- not the height at the entrance floor.

The media could tell us what grades the presidential candidates got for the second marking period in third grade, and how many pimples are on the ass of any celebrity who ever appeared on Dancing with the Stars. They should be able to tell the difference between 20 feet and 40 feet. 20 feet is less than a first down, maybe it should be worded that way.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 6:02 PM

There's a difference between sloppy reporting and sensationalism. I'm just tired of the generalization that "the media" sucks.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 6:13 PM

Because they're the "drive-by"/"liberal" media and they don't understand what its like to be a Maverick and a Hockey mom.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 7:07 PM

Jeff said:
There's a difference between sloppy reporting and sensationalism. I'm just tired of the generalization that "the media" sucks.

Well, if the information they report is incorrect, doesn't it suck?

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 9:02 PM

It's never that simple, no. I've been there. I have a degree in journalism. Stuff happens and you often do the best you can. Furthermore, just because you encounter some bad instances of journalism doesn't mean the profession as a whole sucks. That's lazy thinking.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 10:49 PM

The other thing is that the whole 40 foot thing started with a bystander and got reported by the Associated Press, including someone's cell-phone video.

This story has a lot of available media, it's a nice hero story because ultimately nobody got hurt, and it has an opportunity to beat up on a carnival for having "unsafe" rides.

Incidentally, this is not exactly a new story; we've been talking about it in the General Buzz section for almost a week. It's just that the video has become available, and the story has spread. The last version of the story I saw on-line was actually on the WCMH-TV web site. WCMH is in the Columbus, OH ADI, about a thousand miles from the incident.

Oh, and there are two excellent, unanswered questions. It seems that riders were exiting the ride when it started moving. When that happened...
1) Why did "Mom" not simply step back from the ride and let go of it before it hauled her 20' into the air? And even if "Mom" couldn't get clear of the ride, why didn't she let go of the kid?

Of course, if she had done either of those things, this story probably would not have made the news, or at least it wouldn't have been in the news for a week and a half.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008 11:27 PM

Jeff, you would be right, if sensationalistic journalism did not happen and simple facts were checked.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008 12:08 AM

What are you trying to say? That it happens more often than not? That's not even remotely true.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008 2:02 AM

No just that it happens a lot. Not any more or less than it used to. I am skeptical of anything that is said in any media or anything that is said to me through secondary or tertiary sources, because the original message and intention is sometimes not carried through.

Furthermore, I did not mean to say that you were not right. I really meant that I would agree with you, if that were the case. Not that your opinion is wrong, because you are entitled to your opinion. I apologize for not saying what I really meant.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008 8:46 AM

See what happens when I have work to do? I miss out on fun discussions like these :)

I'm going to defend the media though. They do a lot of fact checking before reporting on a story and do a darn good job of the fact checking. The only problem is they check with sources that either A. have an axe to grind, 2. Don't have firsthand knowledge of the event, or D. Make up stuff that isn't even remotely true.

So yeah, when you're sourcing other blogs and whatnot, it's some fantastic fact checking. Although a lot of the time it isn't even true. But the media doesn't do that at all right?

~Rob Willi :)

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Thursday, October 9, 2008 9:53 AM

That's the same unsubstantiated crap you always say, Rob. Honestly, what "axe to grind" does some reporter have in Orlando against a county fair? Furthermore, what possible incentive is there to "make stuff up?"

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Thursday, October 9, 2008 10:14 AM

Jeff said:
Furthermore, what possible incentive is there to "make stuff up?"

Sensationalism? Not saying that is entirely the case here, but a kid dangling twenty feet up isn't as sensational as a kid dangling forty feet up. Again, I will reiterate that it probably is not blatant misreporting, but if the reporter did not research it, he is probably going to guess on the high side to make things appear to be more dire.

Unfortunately, sensationalism sells the news. Why else would we have reporters standing in hurricanes with wall to wall coverage on every single news outlet?

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Thursday, October 9, 2008 10:28 AM

I'm of two minds about the media. I generally support the media, especially in free speech matters. And I'd like to believe the 'mainstream' media -- actual journalists and reporters, not propagandists like Bill O'Reilly -- is honest, thorough and objective in its work.

On the other hand, I've worked for two different companies that have had stories run about them here in NE Ohio, once in the Plain Dealer and twice in the Beacon Journal. In all of the above cases, the stories were ridiculously wrong, riddled with factual errors and laced with suppositions and innuendo.

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