Three-year-old tossed from Houston Rodeo ride

Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012 4:09 PM | Contributed by stoogemanmoe

A video taken by a parent capturing his own child's ride on the Techno Jump at the Houston Rodeo inadvertently recorded the girl's fall. Her mother couldn't fit into the seat so she let the girl, who met the minimum height rule ride, with her brother. In one image, she appears to be slumping in the seat. A few seconds later, as the car sweeps by again, she is seen trying to hold on with her body swinging in the air. Moments later, she was flung to the ground.

Read more and see video from KTRK/Houston.

Sunday, March 18, 2012 4:15 PM

While I think the "with a responsible adult" rule should have been there in the first place, I also squarely blame the parents. I don't understand how you blindly strap your child into a machine without considering how they'll react. I took Simon on his first roller coaster (at Silverwood) at 18 months, and I was on the fence even though I'd be with him, in what was essentially a low-speed box he couldn't get out of. At 36" now, he could technically ride CP's Scrambler with me, but he's 2, and I don't think he can handle it.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 4:26 PM

Mother is to blame. Some people should not be allowed to reproduce.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 4:30 PM

Lots of blame to go around. Don't know where the parents were but at the same time it seems ridiculous that a 3 year old was able to ride this. Even if the kid was tall enough, why was she on the outer part of the seat? You don't need to be a math whiz to understand the forces of that ride. Largest passenger should have been on the outside.

Thank goodness it was no worse.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 6:56 PM

It also seems like the ride didn't get E-stopped very quick either.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 7:24 PM

Hey Jeff, do you realize that at 36", Simon can ride Jack Rabbit at Kennywood?

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 8:28 PM

And the Whizzer at Great America (with an adult, of course).

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 9:04 PM

Not to mention you'll never know how the child reacts until they try it. I thought Alex was going to be scared crapless on Jack Rabbit. Even at two years old (at the time), he loved it and wanted to keep riding it.

However, I would never put my kids on any major thrill ride without me beside them until they are old enough to understand why we must stay in our seats at all times.

~Rob

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 9:18 PM

I did not know that, Lori. I wouldn't take him on it. He doesn't even have enough vocabulary yet to tell me if he likes it!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 9:43 PM

I don't think he has to have enough vocabulary to communicate if he likes it or not ;-).

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 11:02 PM

HeyIsntThatRob? said:
However, I would never put my kids on any major thrill ride without me beside them until they are old enough to understand why we must stay in our seats at all times.

Yes. This.

My kids have ridden things as soon as they hit the height requirement since forever (my story is taking my daughter on Millennium Force when she was 5 - she loved it...lated did TTD at age 8), but they're always with mom or dad.

It was only in the last season or two that they've really gotten to ride by themselves (or each other).

Although, under the current standards, this girl was allowed to ride. Parenting to some degree, sure. But clearly it wasn't necessarily a safe situation. Might be a discussion point.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012 11:36 PM

You want discussion on this topic? I can tell you that "the industry" has been arguing over the whole concept of a "supervising companion" for *years*. The bottom line is that there is too much variability in kids growth patterns, and kids don't carry ID. So we get height limits set for a 35 %ile 6 year old and that means big 3 year olds are allowed on board. We can't decide how to define a supervising companion so it continues to go undefined.

The parents have to do a better job of filtering ride experiences for their kids, and operators have got to do a better job of communicating that requirement to parents. I know it is something that is actively being worked on, but progress comes slowly.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 10:02 AM

I still want to know why the largest passenger wasn't on the outside. Even on the old Musik Express ride (not elevated off the ground like this ride) we always put the bigger passenger on the outside if for no other reason than they did not sustain a "crush" injury.

If the story is accurate that this girl basically landed, bounced up and then ran off looking for her parents then where the heck were they? Even if my 3 year old was tall enough to ride, and even if I didn't ride with him myself, I'd have been right there next to the ride. It woudl have never got to that point though.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 10:07 AM

I don't think it matters. They're not bench seats, they have dividers.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 1:03 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

HeyIsntThatRob? said:
However, I would never put my kids on any major thrill ride without me beside them until they are old enough to understand why we must stay in our seats at all times.

Yes. This.

My kids have ridden things as soon as they hit the height requirement since forever (my story is taking my daughter on Millennium Force when she was 5 - she loved it...lated did TTD at age 8), but they're always with mom or dad.

Yep, we have put Jordan on rides as soon as she made the height requirement, with either Steve or I at her side (usually Steve). Our rule is ride it once, if you don't like it, you don't have to ride it again. She rode Jack Rabbit at 3, MF at 6 and TTD at 9. Needless to say there is nothing she won't at least try and it's made our trips easier.

We also made sure she learned to put her seat belt on tight and pulled the bar down as far as possible so as she has gotten older, we have felt comfortable letting her ride with other people.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 2:51 PM

My son was able to get on Jack Rabbit when he was 2. Did his first looping coaster (Scorpion) when he was 4. (Then made us go on it over and over and over...)

It's definitely a YMMV thing. You have to know what your kid can handle, and be there as they're experiencing new stuff. Hell, even if I thought he was okay to go on a ride by himself, I'd still want to ride with him just so we can experience it together.

The discussion has gotten me thinking, though. I always held off taking him to CP because I know he'd be disappointed in the amount of stuff he can go on. He just passed 48" and can get on 12 coasters there now. I see a trip to the point coming this summer!

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Monday, March 19, 2012 5:21 PM

loriu said:
We also made sure she learned to put her seat belt on tight and pulled the bar down as far as possible so as she has gotten older, we have felt comfortable letting her ride with other people.

Yes. This too.

It gives a chance to teach respect for the rides and responsibility.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 1:35 AM

This topic is making me wish I had kids.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:31 PM

wahoo skipper said:
If the story is accurate that this girl basically landed, bounced up and then ran off looking for her parents then where the heck were they?

According to the story, one was filming it.

You have two kids, two parents. How about putting the g****** phone down for 3 minutes and actually ride with your kid, not film them riding all day long? I'm sure you being next to them on the ride would make a better memory for them than watching a video of them going across the screen every 10 seconds.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:25 PM

And if anyone would bother reading the story, the mother was booted off because she didn't fit, and the kid was left with her older brother.

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