FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A teen got quite the scare at a South Florida fair when she said the latch holding her in her seat failed and ended the night at the hospital with her mother.
A cell phone camera recorded as Riley and her mother Anita Young rode “The Hurricane”.
“Oh my God, it came out,” said Young, captured in the video. “Don’t move.”
“Stop! I want to get off,” said Riley, as she’s heard sobbing in the recording.
“It just started off really normal and then just kind of took a turn for the worst,” Riley told 7News.
They claimed the safety bar of one ride gave way in mid-run.
“When we go up in the air, the latch that goes over her lap that holds her in snapped open right before it starts spinning,” Young said. “Whenever it started spinning, I had to hold my daughter because we almost flew out of it. I had to hold the latch down.”
When the mother told the ride operator that the latch unlocked, the operator was surprised.
“It did? Oh my God, I’m so sorry, I thought I locked it,” he said in the recording. “Are you OK?”
Young was heard responding to him that she held onto it the whole time.
“Her ribs are bruised, she’s like gasping for air,” said Young.
Riley described the experience, “it felt like a million years like it never stopped.”
“I’m banged up, like my shoulders, my arms hurt from the pressure of trying to hold that thing down and not fall out,” Young said. “I’m just nauseous and I’m sick and can’t get it out of my head.”
The mother and daughter are shaken up but remain more concerned about a state inspection from November that cited the ride for broken latches.
“And it says on it that the latches were broken,” said Young. “He should’ve never put us on that when I had asked him personally. I feel like they didn’t care, that’s the point. Like I was OK with that happening, accidents happen but when they didn’t care and blew it off, they didn’t care we almost died, flew out of that.”
The Hildebrand Amusement Rides responded to the incident that endangered the lives of Young and Riley with a statement.
“…We are always concerned with the safety of the rides and the safety of our patrons, the State of Florida will be officially inspecting the ride,” said General Manager Kyle Wagner.
The close call left the mother and daughter counting their blessings.
“Just be thankful for what you have, while you have it,” said Riley. “Because you never know what could happen.”
7SkyForce flew over the fairground on Tuesday morning and although the rides were packed up, Young said she hopes next time, the ride owners will be more cautious.
“They sent me a report of every single ride that they have,” said Young. “There was something wrong with many of them and they still let them go up in the air. Yeah, it was little things wrong with them but I think they should be 100% safe every time you get on one.
7News has yet to hear back from the state after reaching out to know whether the concerns over the latches were resolved before the ride received the green light to operate during the Margate Fair.
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