Local News

Girl Falls From Ride at Fair

Posted October 23, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A 19-year-old woman who attends a treatment center for people with developmental disabilities was injured when she panicked on a ride at the State Fair and tried to jump about 20 feet to the pavement.

A supervisor who was on the ride with her held on to her long enough to allow a tent to break her fall of eight to 10 feet.

At least that's the story according to fair officials. The woman's parents say their daughter is both mentally and physically challenged and that they believe she fell.

The woman, who had permission from the Tammy Lynn Center to ride the Alpine Skylift, panicked on the ride, which carries passengers above the midway, Knight said. She hit the supervisor on the head with a metal safety bar and tried to jump. Instead, with the supervisor's help, she hit the tent and slid to the ground.

The girl was in satisfactory condition at Wake Medical Center with a broken leg. Inspectors found no mechanical problems with the ride.

The Tammy Lynn Center provides services for Wake county families who have family members with severe to mild development disabilities.

A worker in the concession tent the girl fell on witnessed the entire event.

Fair Manager Sam Rand expressed concern about the incident.

Those who own and operate the rides say their hands are tied with it comes to limiting access to mentally or physically disabled riders they believe could be in danger.

Counting today's accident, 17 people have been taken by ambulance to the hospital during this year's fair. In the five completed days, the American Red Cross says it has treated 392 persons at its first-aid station. Most were minor injuries.

The three most common problems encountered by fair-goers are bleeding, headaches and nausea. There are two ambulances stationed at the fairgrounds for emergencies.