While some may look forward to the rides at the local county or state fairs, others are understandably hesitant about the safety of hastily constructed rides usually available. While accidents are generally infrequent, they do happen, sometimes with tragic results.
Despite an incident in which three young girls fell from a Ferris wheel ride at a fair in eastern Tennesee, organizers of the fair decided to keep the ride operator. This despite the fact that a previous incident just over state lines injured 5 people and sent the owners’ son to be jailed.
A mechanical failure is thought to be the reason why the gondola of the Ferris wheel flipped, sending the three girls plummeting 30-45 feet to the ground. This is based on the findings of a private, independent inspection.
6-year-old Briley Rae Reynolds suffered a traumatic brain injury while her sister, 10-year-old Kayla broke her arm. The third girl was not identified, but it was reported that the 16-year-old girl was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Her condition has since improved.
Private inspectors hired by the ride’s operator and one hired by the Green County Fair Board are working to determine what exactly caused the ride to fail. In addition, two federal inspectors from the Consumer Product Safety Commission were also on scene.
The ride is operated by a Georgia-based company called Family Attractions Amusement. The same company was involved in a high-profile accident three years ago. This accident, which involved a ride called the Vortex, occurred at the North Carolina State Fair in October of 2013.
In the incident, five people were injured when the ride reportedly restarted as they were disembarking. They were flung through the air and down to the steel deck below. Investigators determined that a safety mechanism had been disabled by the ride’s operators.
At first, the owners, Dominic and Ruby Macaroni, tried to deny that the family-owned business was the owner of the ride operated by their son, Joshua. However, investigations revealed that the ride was insured by the company and they were listed as the owners at other fairs across the country.
Joshua Macaroni and ride operator Timothy Tutterow were both charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Tutterow pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Macaroni. Macaroni eventually entered an Alford plea – meaning that there was sufficient evidence for a conviction without him admitting guilt. He served one month in prison and was ordered to pay a fine of $22,500.
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of the “Strong Arm” attorneys at John Foy & Associates. Our dedicated attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.