A young boy has fallen from a rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, England. The seven-year-old boy is believed to have fallen from the Twister rollercoaster on Thursday and police have said he is now in a critical condition. There were reports of hearing screams and then witnesses say the boy was seen hanging backwards from the rollercoasters carriage. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to pull himself back up and fell to the ground. Police have said that he was immediately rushed off to a hospital, Leeds General Infirmary, with head injuries where he remains in a critical, but stable condition.
The theme park has responded to the Incident by tweeting that it was “devastated” by the news of the boy’s condition. They went on to say that they will support and take any advice from the investigating bodies, North Yorkshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Hopefully these investigations will be able to conclude what happened to the boy and why he wasn’t secured into the ride in the first place. Mark Charnley, an eyewitness to the accident, recalls seeing the boy hanging backwards actually outside of the carriage itself. Everyone started shouting to try and attract the attention of the ride operator. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened with that specific ride.
This accident is the second time someone has been hurt while riding the exact same ride at the theme park. Back in June 2001, 20-year-old Gemma Savage died when two of the rollercoaster’s carriages collided. Savage, who was originally from Wath-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire, was out with her friends from Durham University, where she was studying medical sciences when the incident took place. Two cars on the rollercoaster collided and sadly Ms. Savage was fatally injured.
Linda Savage, Gemma’s mother, she that after she found out about the young boy being injured, she was devastated. She offered her sympathy to the little boy and his family. She went on to say that she couldn’t believe this had happened again, especially on the exact same ride where her daughter was killed 18 years ago. It’s absolutely shocking that it hasn’t been shut down all those years ago and still operates today, putting countless lives at risk. It was only a matter of time before someone else got injured, or even killed again.
Linda was unaware that the ride was still up and running and it’s made things incredibly distressing in the run-up to the anniversary of Gemma’s death. She proposes that the ride and even the entire park should be shut down permanently. Linda goes on to say how she feels so powerless, just as she felt when she heard the news of her daughter’s death.
While the ride, or the theme park, wasn’t closed on health and safety concerns, the owner of the park, the manufacturers of the ride, as well as an electrician were all fined later on for health and safety breaches due to Gemma Savage’s death. This likely bought little comfort to her friends and family though. It’s about time something serious was done and the owner of the park should be punished more severely for allowing such a dangerous ride to continue to operate. The ride should be shut down and possibly the whole park, too. Someone should have been arrested and charged with manslaughter after Gemma’s death. Another person and their family is suffering as a consequence. It’s only a matter of time now before yet another person gets injured, or even worse.