WINCHESTER, Va. - A woman was injured after the carnival ride she was riding failed and sent her crashing to the ground. The incident happened around 7 p.m. Monday at the Frederick County Fair just outside of Winchester, Virginia.
The 47-year-old woman was riding the SuperShot, a freefall ride where riders ascend to the top of a tower and are then dropped suddenly. A hydraulic brake in the ride stops the passengers midway through the freefall and lowers them gently to a platform.
According to a press release from the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, the SuperShot was ascending and passengers were approximately 40 feet from the ground when the female rider fell from the ride.
A seat on the ride had come completely undone and sent the woman plunging straight into the ground. SkyFox from above the area of the ride showed a seat several feet away from the ride's platform. Authorities said there is video of the violent fall, but have not released it.
Questions about the ride's inspection record and the investigation went unanswered by authorities. We located the owner of the SuperShot ride Tuesday night and found him repairing another ride inside the fairgrounds. He said he did not know why the ride failed and it was operating normally at a fair in Front Royal for a 10-day span recently.
"I've had five inspectors here today," Tommy Inners told FOX 5. "Tomorrow, there is an engineer coming in."
He said he was at the fair when it happened, but was on the other side of the fairgrounds.
"Nothing has ever happened in the ten years I have owned it," Inners said.
On Tuesday night, all rides but the SuperShot were back open.
Board members of the Frederick County Fair told FOX 5 that all rides this year are contracted out to Inner Shows, the same company that owns the SuperShot.
The woman suffered multiple injuries and was taken to Winchester Medical Center. Her condition is unknown at this time.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Here are some tips that will help keep you safe when you visit a carnival or fair this summer:
- Look for inspection sticker. If you don't see it, ask.
- Watch the ride in operation. Observe attendants.
- Know your child's ability to remain calm & follow directions.
- Make sure restraints fit well, especially if ride uses a lap bar.
- Trust your instincts.