Before the story airs: 2014 State Fair ride accident

Posted November 10, 2014 3:59 p.m. EST
Updated July 16, 2018 9:11 a.m. EDT

Amanda Lamb

When I first met the Gallaghers, I didn't know what to expect. Would they be angry, outraged, defensive? But they were none of the above. If anything, they were calm and deliberate as they described what was a very scary moment in time for their family at the State Fair.

What struck me the most was Renee Gallagher's description of how she watched her daughter, Brigitte, fall from the bungee almost in slow motion. She heard "the snap" before she saw her daughter drop through the air. In a second, she was on her feet, clawing her way through the crowd to get to Brigitte. Renee, a normally polite, unflustered woman, was shoving strangers aside.

"I was a crazy person, pushing people out of the way," Renee said to me matter-of-factly.

"She is one of the calmest people I know," Renee's husband, Rich, added. "I've never seen her like this."

Unruffled Renee had come unspooled just like the cable meant to hold her daughter as she bounced high above the ground beneath Carolina blue skies at the State Fair. It's an emotion any mother can relate to – that moment that you lose control, helpless and afraid as you see your child getting hurt. I got chills imagining myself in that same moment watching my child fall to the ground.

Watch my story Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on WRAL-TV.