On Tuesday, July 2, a child was injured on the bungee trampoline ride at the Fourth of July Celebration in Ashville.
According to Tracy Fritts, the woman who was supervising the child, the incident occurred at 9:15pm on Tuesday on the bungee jump ride when three bungee cords snapped off of the poles, smacking the child and knocking her 20-feet to the ground. The child had been bouncing about 3 to 4 minutes prior to the incident. The child’s arm immediately welted up due to the impact of the cords.
The rides at the festival are run by Triple Treat Shows. The festival contracts them and does not run them.
The two males operating the ride allegedly tried to rush Fritts and the child off with only a refund. According to Fritts, she insisted on getting medical attention for the child because she was in obvious pain, crying and very scared. Fritts said the operators refused to call for help.
Fritts was forced to leave the child and run to the ticket booth for help because her cell phone was dead. At that time, she said an employee, instead of a medic came, asking her what the issue was. “I had asked at least six of the ride employees and the owner to make the call and none of them would do it,” Fritts said.
After about 30 minutes, the injured girl and Fritts found a Sheriff’s Deputy on the other side of the park who was able to call a squad. The girl ended up needing to be seen at an emergency department where x-rays were required. Luckily she had no broken bones.
Fritts was concerned about the ride, especially since it was operating when she left, so she called the phone number for the festival later that night. She said, “The guy said they don’t have the authority to shut any ride down or even ask for an inspection and that I would have to contact the Department of Agriculture myself.”
The ride was reportedly inspected by the Department of Agriculture today and it was considered a “freak accident.”
Triple Treat Shows and the parents of the girl haven spoken and Triple Treats reportedly turned in the information to insurance.
Bill Welch from the Fourth of July Celebration spoke with us and said that they were aware of the incident and they are very sorry for it. He went on to say that they have been using Triple Treat Shows for about 12 years and just signed a new three-year contract.
Since working with Triple Treat, there have only been minor injuries, Welch said. He said they evaluate safety each year and nothing has been problematic with the company. The worst injury in recent memory according to Welch was a broken ankle and that was before Triple Treat.
While thousands of injuries occur on rides each year, according to multiple sources, the reporting of these injuries is not standard. The true number is not really known.
Ohio has come under criticism since the 2017 Ohio State fair incident that claimed the life of two teens on “The Fireball” ride. Though inspections have been tightened, by many standards they are still lacking.