Girl's actions caused her to fall from NY park ride

Girl's actions caused her to fall from NY park ride

- A 14-year-old girl visiting from DE survived a 25-foot fall from a stopped gondola ride at a Six Flags in upstate New York Saturday night. She was then rushed by helicopter to Albany Medical Center, where she is reported to be in stable condition.

Matthew Howard Sr. and his daughter, Leeann Winchell, say they were about to leave Six Flags Great Escape near Albany, New York on Saturday when they saw the 14-year-old dangling from the "Sky Ride" gondola. The ride was stopped, and she dropped about 25 feet (about 8 meters) into a crowd poised to catch her.

Though an inspection cleared the ride as being in working order, the attraction will remain closed for the time being. "I'm not going to let you fall", said Mr Howard.

The two took the brunt of the girl's fall, tumbling to the ground themselves after the catch.

Without hesitation, people ran towards the girl gathering together as they told the girl to let go, saying they would catch her, Good Morning America reports.

"No one wants to put himself underneath a body like that, but I couldn't stand by and watch".

Police believe "human error" on the part of the girl who fell from a ride at The Great Escape was the cause of the weekend accident that has drawn national attention to the amusement park. The girl's little brother was sitting beside her and screamed for help.

A 47 year old Schenectady man who was also a guest at the park was treated for a back injury suffered as he was attempting to catch the falling victim. Each spring, in partnership with local emergency personnel, the park conducts an evacuation drill on the Sky Ride, she said.

On Sunday, he visited the girl at the hospital with Winchell.

The Sheriff's Office tells the Post that after park officials received notice of a rider in distress they stopped the ride.

Some witnesses surmised she may have been trying to kick trees as the ride passed them, but Stockdale said that did not appear to be the case.


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