Girl dies after falling from Ferris wheel at Morey's Pier

Posted Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:29 AM | Contributed by Lord Gonchar

An 11-year-old girl died after falling from the Ferris Wheel at Morey's Mariner's Landing Pier on Friday. She was on a field trip with her school. The ride was in motion and Abiah Jones was about half-way up when she fell from her Ferris wheel car, police said. That's about as high as a five-story building.

Read more and see video from WCAU/Philidelphia.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 7:22 AM

I can't fathom any way this could've been mechanical, unless it started to rotate at 60mph. Rider fault, it's a shame.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 9:25 AM

IIRC, their wheel has locking gates on each tub. It doesn't seem like this could happen very easily.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 10:52 AM

Someone from another topic mentioned that they heard (although not fact at this point) that the girl was alone in the ride vehicle, and that she was leaning outside of the vehicle to speak to her friends in another ride vehicle.

That makes sense, so for in the story. That's how I picture it, especially since she supposedly fell out while her gondola was halfway to the top. I suppose requiring a responsible person to ride with children under a certain age may have prevented this from happening.

We have talked about kids (especially teens) and their tendency to not understand dangerous actions before. Maybe something like that played a part in this accident.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 4:46 PM

According to a news report I heard this morning,they think the girl was leaning over the side of the gondola and fainted.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 9:08 PM

On a related sad note, a 40-year-old woman committed suicide on the Navy Pier wheel (which is the exact same Vekoma model and size of this wheel) I think 5 years ago or so. I first thought it could be the case as well, since this girl was riding alone.

We rode Geauga Lakes giant wheel at its new home at Kings Dominion in 2009, and there was a young boy riding alone in one of the tubs and he started to stand up and lean on the bars looking around. We had to yell at him to sit down and got the ride ops attention. I'm sure he was safe, but it was something that I felt we had to inform the park of.

Last edited by john peck, Saturday, June 4, 2011 9:08 PM
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Sunday, June 5, 2011 12:00 AM

Young kids ridding alone seems to be a serious issue. These carts have no restraining system or control over youngsters moving about inside the carts. I for one do not want to be pinned to my seat with an over lap bar or seatbelt, but then how does one stop the dangers and threats these openly free carts pose to young kids?

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Sunday, June 5, 2011 2:22 AM

OTOH, she was eleven. We're not exactly talking about a three-year-old here.

With age comes a certain assumption of gradually increasing responsibility. Or what's the alternative? Ban any children under 18 from riding any kind of Ferris wheel, skyride, train, log ride, etc., without an adult as if it were a rated R film?

I tend to lean toward putting whatever fault there is about this in the parents' lap. The mom and/or dad should know their kid, what she's capable of, what she's old enough to handle on her own, and so forth. Clearly, riding a Ferris wheel by herself was too much.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011 7:28 AM

She was on a school field trip, though. Parents probably weren't there.

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Monday, June 6, 2011 7:07 PM

Heard this while at Beech Bend on Friday. Very sad.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011 2:23 PM

I really hope an autopsy is performed. The more I think about it, the more I think that girl almost had to have suffered some kind of medical issue. From the descriptions it doesn't sound like she jumped, but rather fell, and even 11-year-olds have enough sense of self-preservation not to get themselves knocked over a safety railing. But if she passed out first, then all bets are off...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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