Teens Survive Close Call On A Ferris Wheel At Warren County Fair

Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 20:21:54-04

Two teens fell out of a Ferris wheel cart when it flipped at the Warren County fair.

It happened Friday. A photograph from the scene shows the cart on the Ferris wheel completely upside down.

A father of one of the teens told NewsChannel 5 his son said he and his girlfriend were riding the ferris wheel when the cart suddenly lurched.

The boy hung on, but the girl was tossed from her seat and barely managed to grab a safety bar, dangling in the air for some 30 seconds before amazingly falling safely to the ground.

The same Ferris wheel was taken to the midway for the Coffee County fair.

"We take it real serious," said Bob Warren, vice president of the Coffee County fair board.

Warren said they were concerned to hear what happened.

"That's why we try to double check and triple check everything," said Warren.

Russ Kissel the owner of Kissel Entertainment which operates the rides declined an interview, but he did release a statement.

In it, he said they "... found that a previous rider had tampered with a secondary safety pin that holds the hair guard ..." in place.

He said the tampering caused the flip ... "and that they are now "...immediately revising our inspection process."

"I just think it was a freak accident," said Warren who added that the Ferris wheel has already been inspected and will likely be every day this week.

Officials said they took precautions to ensure the secondary safety pin would not be able to be tampered with.

"They double secured the pins so you can't take them out. You have to have tools to take them out now," said Warren.

The Ferris wheel was expected to be open for business on the midway this week at the Coffee County Fair.

Neither teen was hurt in the incident, and no reports were filed with the sheriff's department.

The teen's father of the boyfriend said he still had some questions and plans to look more into exactly what happened.