A teenage girl from Delaware who plummeted from a 25-foot ride at The Great Escape in Queensbury, New York, over the weekend was likely to blame for either goofing off or not paying attention as the ride progressed, investigators have now claimed.
Heart-stopping footage uploaded to social media by onlookers shows the 14-year-old girl dangling from the “Sky Ride,” a gondola ride that ferries guests across the park. Fortunately, a group of Good Samaritans had gathered underneath her and were able to catch her when she fell, preventing her from becoming seriously injured.
While many patrons initially blamed ride operators for not following proper safety procedures, police now believe that “human error” on the part of the teenager was to blame for her predicament, the Post Star reported.
Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Stockdale of the Queensbury Police claimed that the girl, who was riding the gondola with her younger brother, somehow managed to slip underneath the safety bars that hold riders in the car. Some witnesses claimed that she had been trying to kick at trees as she passed by, but Stockdale claimed that she only did so when she began slipping out of her seat.
“It could have been a lot worse than it was,” Stockdale said, noting that the incident took place at one of the lowest points of the ride’s path. He spoke with the girl’s family on Sunday night, who confirmed that she did not appear to be hurt but was hospitalized to ensure that she suffered no internal injuries from the fall.
The state Department of labor inspected the ride and declared it fit to reopen by Sunday, but the park decided to keep it shut down throughout the day. Safety officials have noted that gondola rides such as the Sky Ride tend to have good safety records and claimed that most incidents tend to be chalked up to the rider’s actions.