Theme park rescue: Crowd catches girl in seven-metre fall from ride

Cameron Gross
June 26, 2017

Howard and his daughter, Leeann Winchell, made their way underneath the gondola auto and called out to the girl, trying to calm her down and reassure her they'd catch her. Moments later, the girl dropped 25 feet, into their arms. The state Department of Labor cleared the ride to re-open Sunday, but the park opted to keep it closed. They didn't know how she'd fallen out of the ride.

As she dangled in the air, the group of men convinced the girl to let herself drop into their arms.

Officials inspected the Sky Ride and said it was in proper working order.

"There were a lot of people yelling and surprised as I was that there wasn't something that could be done faster to help", Lent said.

The Sheriff's Office said the girl fell from the vehicle, hit a tree as she fell. The ride operator apparently stopped the attraction while bystanders gathered below to catch the girl if she fell to the ground.

Park staff stopped the ride after finding out a passenger was in distress.

Then, the video shows her dangling 25 feet from the ground.

Park-goers below start to notice the trouble she is having, and begin to devise a plan for how they will save her when she inevitably falls.

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Six Flags has not yet offered a comment regarding this frightening incident. Also injured on the scene was a 47-year-old man who sustained back damage while helping to catch the teen.

"It's incredible you know I mean as I keep saying too God put us in the right place at the right time, you know we were able to do something good and we saved a child's life", Winchell said.

A witness, Loren Lent, said the girl was hanging from a chair by just her arms and head.

The park said in a statement that the safety of guests was a top priority.

Sunday was just another day here at Great Escape, but the Sky Ride was closed.

"I couldn't let that little girl die", Howard told the Associated Press.

His daughter, who is applying to be a nurse, said they visited the girl in hospital on Sunday.

They're hopeful the public will leave the young girl and her family alone to heal, they said.

Other reports by BadHub

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