Ferris Wheel Accident: What Really Happened?

By: Ellisha Rader Mannering - August 23, 2014

Every year millions of people around the world flock to amusement parks, carnivals and festivals to ride the various thrill rides and to have a good time in general. While amusement park ride accidents are rare, they are also tragic.

Two people were injured in a Ferris wheel accident on Thursday night at the Chelsea Community Fair in Michigan. Police were called to the fair around 8:30 p.m. on a report of two juveniles being injured on a ride. When they arrived on the scene, police determined that the two juveniles had fallen from the ride.

Witnesses who were nearby and on the ride themselves confirmed that the two kids had fallen.

The Huron Valley Ambulance and Chelsea Area Fire Authority also arrived on the scene and two physicians rendered aid to the victims. The two juveniles were taken to the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

Authorities have been investigating the accident and have determined that crutches may have been the reason the juveniles fell from the ride.

One of the victims, a 16-year-old girl, boarded the ride with her crutches. Witnesses said that the girl was wearing a leg brace and using the crutches when she passed by the ride operator.

Investigators believe that the crutches may have partially slipped from the Ferris wheel cab and become lodged in such a way that they caused the cab to tip over, knocking the girl and her 8-year-old brother from their seats.

They also determined that the two victims likely fell about 15 feet to the ground. The boy has been released from the hospital, his sister has not. Authorities plan to talk to the girl once she is released.

The Ferris wheel was reopened on Friday and the ride company has not released a statement about the accident.

About the Author

Ellisha Rader ManneringEllisha is a writer, wife, and mommy to Cyrus and Milo. She enjoys fishing, hiking, being outdoors, shopping, traveling with her family and teaching baton twirling. Follow her on Twitter @lishann

View all posts by Ellisha Rader Mannering
  • scarlette6

    Let’s take a look at the people who put up those rides. They are the drifters who just got hired the night before. Take a look around at most of the people who are working at the carnivals and ask yourself if you really want to put your life in their hands.

    • Erica Mathis

      They are not drifters, this is a theme park not a traveling carny!

      • scarlette6

        It said “community fair”. That is not a permanent amusement park.

    • Dan Bender

      Nope,the one`s hired the night before are local`s who are not afraid of work and want to make a few honest dollar`s…Them ride`s are complicated pieces of machinery and the drifter is probly not going to be able to assemble it,I worked on traveling show`s in the 70`s and again in 1990.roped the wheel,did all the electric also..Nope them local drifter`s look lost when ya tell one to grab the sky hook`s and whiskey stick,we`re pullin spoke`s and trueing the wheel..Ride`s were all ground mount in my day tho,now most are trailor mounted and hydraulic.Tilt a whirl had over 3000 pieces,we used hand crank winches to raise ride tower`s,or block n tackle,learned leverage at the end of a 6 foot prybar,Learned spotting ride`s,learned packing the most in the least space..Have seen people hurt letting go of winch handles with a ride center hooked and have seen people get the crap shocked outta them for messing around in minnesota boxes..AND i DID love my electric cut in everyone paid me to get electricity for their house and concession…Ms Scarlette,no offense but you know nothing about show business..Them drifter`s are probly just forty miler`s,lotsa them around

    • Storm

      People like you are what’s wrong with the world. Fear mongers. Nothing is 100% safe, but look at the numbers. Two people had this odd accident, but how many others rode without any issue at all? You have no idea what caused them to fall out. Doesn’t it stand to reason that they could have been acting foolish which caused them to fall?

      • scarlette6

        Storm, I don’t think that people like me (those who say that drifters put up carnival rides) are what’s wrong with the world. You need to get out more if you really believe that.

        • Storm

          I called you a fear monger. What you said goes deeper than saying drifters put up carnival rides. The fact that you believe that the people who work carnivals are inept fools who put people’s lives in imminent danger is a problem. Accidents happen in any field. Considering how many carnivals and fairs go up around the country all the time, accidents like this are exceedingly rare. Why ask people if they are willing to put their lives in these people’s hands? They are more likely to be killed in a car wreck. Would that stop them from driving or riding in vehicles?

          • Guest

            Storm, I’m quoting you now: “People like you are what’s wrong with the world.” I don’t think that what I believe is a “problem” to anyone but myself.
            When I look at the people who work at carnivals (for the most part but there are exceptions, of course), I get a bit concerned and then start to worry about the future of mankind.

          • Storm

            The second line reads, “Fear Mongers.” People like you are fear mongers. The problem is that posts like yours (in reference to your initial comment) plays to people fears which are based on prejudices, stereotypes, and stigmas. Your concerns and worries are totally invalidated by the fact that freak occurrences like the Ferris wheel accident are extremely rare– especially when compared to the dangers of everyday life. Wouldn’t you expect there to be more accidents than there are if these people are as bad as you suggest?

  • Franci Hoffman

    It doesn’t make sense to allow someone on a ride that is on crutches.

  • damyou

    i went on a Ferris wheel once. never again!

  • Mark Mills

    what kind of moron lets a kid with crutches on an amusement park ride?

  • JimS

    Umm , most amusement park rides don’t allow people to wear GLASSES , hats or flip flops even . WHY in the hell is anyone allowing the crutches on the ride >?!!!