Unreported problem at State Fair similar to accident that injured 12-year-old
Posted November 13, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The company that owns a bungee-jump ride that malfunctioned and injured a 12-year-old Raleigh girl at the North Carolina State Fair last month owns a similar ride from which another girl was dropped on the same day.
Mark Spessard, also of Raleigh, said Thursday that the same thing happened to his 12-year-old daughter, Callahan, on another ride elsewhere on the midway.
She landed on a trampoline and, although emotionally shaken, wasn't injured.
Records from the North Carolina Department of Labor, which is now investigating the cases, indicate that Cowboy Attractions LLC, based in Ocala, Fla., own both rides.
The company's general partner, Pam McDonald, did not return calls seeking comment Thursday about Spessard's claim.
Previously, however, she declined to comment for the news report on Gallagher, doing so at the advice of her attorney.
Brian Long, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said Gallagher's case was the only accident reported at the fair this year.
"The important thing we want to stress is, if you see something, let us know about it," he said Thursday.
Rides at the state fair, he said, are supposed to be inspected three times every day. Operators are supposed to report any accidents that involve medical care beyond general first-aid and also report whenever there is damage to a ride.
Spessard said he talked with the ride operator after realizing his daughter was physically OK. The operator, he said, showed him a pin that he said had broken.
Because his daughter was upset and wanted to leave, he did not go to a fair official or security guard to report what happened.
He said he wished he had.
But because he didn't immediately report it, there's no way to fully know what happened.
Long said that's why it is important to report problems the moment they happen.
"We want to know if something is wrong. If we don't know about it, it's hard to do something about it," he said. "That's why it's so important the public help us out in that regard."