A 14-year-old girl from Greenwood, Delaware fell from a gondola ride at the Six Flags Great Escape amusement park in George, New York, plummeting 25 feet to the ground. The young girl was able to escape serious injury thanks to a crowd of people who had gathered beneath the ride to catch her when she fell. The incident occurred Saturday afternoon, according to The Washington Post.
A witness, Loren Lent, who was waiting to snap a photo of a family member as they passed overhead on the same ride, captured the ordeal on video and later uploaded the footage to Facebook. In the Facebook video, the 14-year-old can be seen dangling from the ride and screaming as people frantically rush to her aid. She is holding on with both hands, her back is arched, and it appears that her neck is hung in the ride’s metal bars.
One man climbed a tree in an attempt to move branches out of the way while others huddled together below the ride, preparing to catch the girl when she fell. Another person seated on the ride with the girl appears to help free her neck and then her head can be seen.
Lent can be heard on the video yelling to the girl, trying to reassure her it was okay to let go because the crowd below would catch her. Seconds later, she let go and hit a tree branch before the crowd below caught her.
Her limp body was carried to a nearby Six Flags vehicle. She was treated by emergency medical staff at the amusement park. She was then transported to a local hospital before being airlifted to Albany Medical Center. Police officers said she did not sustain any serious injuries in the fall. She is listed in stable condition.
One of the people, who helped catch the teen, a Schenectady, New York man, 47, was also transported to the hospital due to a back injury he sustained while catching her.
The girl was riding the Sky Ride attraction, which is a gondola-style ride that moves very slow, police said. At this time, it is unclear what caused the girl to slip from her seat and fall off the ride.
Park staff and investigators have inspected the ride and found that it was working properly and all safety equipment was intact at the time of the incident. Rebecca Wood, a spokesperson with Six Flags said the ride had been cleared to resume operation by the New York State Department of Labor.
By Trixie Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Loren Lent/Facebook