Honeysuckle Hills Farm Talks About Zip Line Accident
SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. – The owner of Honeysuckle Hills Farms says he plans on retraining every member of his staff over the next few weeks after an accident on Saturday injured a woman who was using his newly constructed zip line.
"It's one of those days that you think can't happen, we thought it was fail proof, fool proof and that it could not happen," owner Jeff Alsup explained on Wednesday.
The 45-year-old had the zip line professionally constructed a few months ago in an effort to add some high flying fun to his 250 acre farm.
"We did train, the manufacturer came out and trained us we trained and trained we all felt prepared and then put in that stressful situation an accident happened… human error, it was a bad day," he says about this past weekend.
On Saturday afternoon a 40-year-old Nashville woman was traversing across the zip line course, but while flying toward one of the towers, she didn't make it far enough. Jeff and his tour guides instructed her to pull herself back into the tower but Jeff said the woman began to panic because of the heat and the height.
"She stopped a little bit short of the platform and that's normal we just normally can reach out and pull her in, she was too far so we couldn't do that," he explains.
Jeff and his workers then decided the best option would be to lower the woman to the ground. While they were doing that, something went wrong and she fell some 15 feet to the ground below. She was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
"Will we ever do that again? No, I will never allow my tour guides to belay someone to the ground again, I don't feel like they should've been trained to do that. I feel like we should've called the fire department," Jeff said about the accident.
The zip line course is currently closed, but state inspectors said physically there is nothing wrong with any of the hardware or the towers. Jeff hopes to re-open in a few weeks.
"She is gonna make a full recovery, that's the most important thing. We're gonna make sure that all of our staff feels totally confident that this could never happen again so we're calling two companies in to retrain us so that nobody ever comes unhooked from a cable, never comes unhooked," he said.