Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative
The grandmother of a three year-old on a midway ride which crashed at the Brigden Fair says she was traumatized by the incident.
Sherry Wood talked to The Independent Sunday, two days after her granddaughter, Hailey, hit her head several times when the midway ride malfunctioned and crashed Friday.
There were five children on the ride Friday. Shelby Lewis’ daughter Mya, 9, was riding in the same car as Hailey. She’d helped the little girl fasten her seat belt for the ride on before the incident.
Lewis said the ride rotated twice before it began to shake and the wheels dropped down in the whale-shaped car.
The car then hit the ground three times – as bystanders yelled to stop the ride – before the employee of World’s Finest Midways stopped the machine.
Hailey’s grandmother got the whole thing on video, but she can’t bring herself to watch it. The video was given to the OPP for its investigation into the incident.
Woods said Hailey hit her head “several times” but she’s not sure how many. The families called 9-1-1 immediately and the children were taken to the Emergency Services Unit for evaluation. Hailey was sent to the hospital by ambulance to be examined. Woods said the family has been told to watch for vomiting – a sign of a concussion. The three year-old has a large bump above her eyebrow.
So far, the little girl is alright, but Wood is worried how this accident might traumatize her granddaughter.
Lewis – who has been going to the Bridgen Fair since she was a teen – found it disheartening how the situation was handled.
“Nobody came to ask if the kids were ok,” said Lewis.
“I was scared,” said Wood, adding all they wanted to do that day was have a good time. She said will not be putting her grandchildren on anymore midway rides.
In Ontario, according to the Canadian Association of Amusement Operators, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority regulates the industry, inspecting each midway ride once a year for a permit. It also conducts inspections and incident investigations, according to its website.
Lewis was told the midway rides were inspected at 9 a.m., an hour before the midway opened. She asked for a copy of the inspection documentation, but did not receive.
Lewis and Wood have not heard from the midway company, World’s Finest Shows or from the Brigden Fair officials since the accident as of Sunday morning. Lewis said parents were not given a refund for their midway tickets and the carnival worker disappeared “pretty quickly” after the accident.
Brigden Fair President John Scott was unable to comment about the accident because of the OPP investigation.
Scott did tell The Independent the ride is still on the grounds, but not operating. It will be dismantled when the fair closes and the midway leaves. The Independent has reached out to the OPP and to World’s Finest Shows for comment, but no response has been received at this time.
Lewis doesn’t want to deter anyone from going to the fair, saying she doesn’t blame the Bridgen Fair.
“This must be their worst nightmare,” said Lewis,
But she hopes this incident is an eye opener for people saying if people see something that might be unsafe, she encourages them to speak up so their kids are not put into unsafe situations.
And Lewis said would like to see these rides have more safety checks.