Woman dies in jump from free fall attraction at San Bernardino County Fair

Posted Monday, June 1, 2015 9:07 AM | Contributed by Drew2876

A 31-year-old woman was fatally injured Thursday night after plunging 28 feet from a free-fall attraction at the San Bernardino County Fair. Firefighters and paramedics found Sabrina Gordon lodged between the attraction’s scaffolding and the airbag.

Read more from The LA Times and KABC/LA.

Monday, June 1, 2015 9:28 AM

Very sad. RIP.

Attractions like this seem a little too risky and frankly don't really appeal to me, personally.

Same with SCAD Towers, never felt the need to 'ride' one.

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Monday, June 1, 2015 9:50 AM

It looks like this was a set up with just scaffolding. That implies that the drop point is not over the center of the bag. Those trailer-mounted things showing at IAAPA lean out over the center of the bag, so it's pretty hard to miss the target.

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Monday, June 1, 2015 9:54 AM

We saw this attraction at the New York state fair last summer. All it is, as described in the article, is an untethered jump from one of several platforms onto a huge airbag. It's like what you see stuntmen use when they stage a fall. You pay first then you can make three trips and jump from the platforms, each one higher than the last. You're only allowed to jump feet first and land on your ass, seated position, no head first or somersaults or anything like that. From the ground it didn't look all that tall, but I'm sure it's seems plenty high once you get up there. I thought about it then decided no.

One of the things was that when the participant lands they "disappear" in the depths of the airbag and no one can see them until they crawl their way over to the side, and I noticed that sometimes they didn't reappear for a while. That part looked very awkward and kind of difficult. I dont remember if an attendant is up there to look down on it, but now that I think about it, I'm sure someone goes up with the jumper to guide them and give instructions. It sounds like this poor gal made a timing error then fell between the bag and the scaffold, rather than in the center where she belonged.

I watched people, mostly kids, do this for a long time. It seemed rather safe, but risky at the same time. Even though it's relatively simple I'd imagine something like this should be left to those that are better trained, not hapless fair goers with a buck in their pocket.

Edit to add: yes, Jeff, you've got it right. The scaffolding is at the edge of the bag, and the jumpers have to leap. A "diving board" set up like you saw would be better.

Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, June 1, 2015 10:47 AM
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