It’s every parent’s nightmare: getting a call that your child has been severely injured. The parents of an 11-year-old girl who died after falling off a Ferris wheel lived that nightmare. And now, the park that operates the ride may be held accountable for her wrongful death.
Reports suggest that the girl may have been standing on or leaning out of her seat when she fell from the Ferris wheel 160 feet to a steel platform at the base of the ride. The girl died at the scene. She had been riding on the Ferris wheel alone.
According to reports, attorneys for the family have begun an investigation into the accident that may lead to the filing of a civil lawsuit in the girl’s death. They have asked for a surveillance video that shows at least part of the accident and are also seeking to question anyone who may have witnessed the actual fall. However, an official report suggests that no one may have witnessed the moment the girl fell out of her seat.
Attorneys are also investigating the presence and condition of safety equipment on the ride. They are also reportedly considering the ride’s overall safety record in addition to the safety records of Ferris wheels in other amusement parks.
The Ferris wheel at the park was inspected and found to be free of mechanical defects. The ride remains closed until a later date that is to be determined. As a result of the tragic accident, the state of New Jersey, where the accident occurred, has recommended that rides that reach high elevations should require two riders per vehicle.
For his part, the girl’s father questions the lack of restraint devices on the ride, according to Philly.com. “If you’re 150 feet in the air, there should be some sort of safety harness,” he says.