A 10-year-old girl died Saturday evening after being thrown from a spinning carnival ride at a New Jersey harvest festival, state police say.
The accident took place at 6:18 p.m. as the girl rode the “Extreme” ride at the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival, police reported in a release posted to Facebook.
She was airlifted to a hospital, where she died of her injuries a short time later, police wrote
“I have a 7-year-old and just seeing the little girl, it’s so heartbreaking,” said witness Jessica Estrada Plasencia, WPVI reported. “I know you ride at your own risk, but they are there to make sure your kids are secure, to make sure kids aren’t going to fall off a ride.”
An investigation has been opened into the accident, which took place in Cumberland County in southern New Jersey, WCAU reported.
The carnival ride, a Super Sizzler-type produced by Wisdom Rides of America, spins customers seated in cars around in circles horizontally at high speed, according to the company’s site. It seats two to three people per car in 12 cars.
The ride operator, Skelly’s Amusements, said in a Facebook post Sunday morning that it was “heartbroken” by the accident.
“Words cannot express our feelings and we extend our deepest sympathies to the individual’s family and loved ones,” the post reads.
In a later post, Skelly’s Amusements wrote that although it had been cleared to operate its other rides at the harvest festival Sunday, “we don’t have it in our heart.” The rides will remain closed, although most other festival events are scheduled to continue.
Festival organizers say on the event’s website that a parade scheduled Sunday has also been canceled.
“The festival will be open today to offer a place for the community to come together in wake of this tragedy,” festival organizers wrote.