A carnival company under scrutiny after the death of a toddler at one of its events will bring its rides to Lee’s Summit.
Missouri-based Evans United Shows was operating a carnival in Wichita when a 15-month-old girl, Pressley Bartonek, was possibly shocked by a live wire. The girl died last week, five days after the incident. The same company will operate during Lee’s Summit’s Downtown Days, from June 2–4.
The Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street group organizes the festival. Executive Director Donnie Rodgers said Evans United Shows has operated during Downtown Days for at least the past three years.
The agreement to contract with Evans United Shows was made around the beginning of 2017, Rodgers said, months before the girl’s death.
Never miss a local story.
He said extra precautions will be taken during this year’s festival.
An on-site electrician will have additional duties. “We’ll have him do some visual inspections ... to see if anything is causing a red flag,” Rodgers said. “Wiring, any metal surface is a concern.”
Two standard inspections will also take place before the festival: One by state officials with the Office of the State Fire Marshal and another by city officials with the Fire Department and development services.
Implementation of a law to increase regulations of rides in Kansas, which would have required more stringent inspections by qualified personnel at sites such as Evans United’s carnival, isn’t scheduled to take effect until July 1. Lawmakers postponed a debate to discuss delaying further the law’s implementation after the girl’s death.
Evans United Shows did not return requests for comment.