A 10-year-old girl died on Saturday evening after being flung from a ride at the annual Deerfield Township Harvest Festival in New Jersey.
State police said in a statement that the child, who has not been named, had suffered critical injuries after being abruptly ejected from a ride called “Extreme,” which police identified as a Wisdom Super Sizzler amusement park ride that spins suspended riders in different directions.
The girl, who witnesses told WPVI was “motionless” after being thrown, was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital, police said. She was pronounced dead at the hospital at 7:20 p.m., about an hour after the accident occurred.
Authorities are conducting an investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death. Skelly’s Amusements, the company that operated the rides and games for the Harvest Festival, said it was fully cooperating with the probe.
“We are absolutely heartbroken. Words cannot express our feelings and we extend our deepest sympathies to the individual’s family and loved ones. We ask that you keep them in your thoughts,” the company said on Facebook.
The Harvest Festival, which is in its 41st year, continued as scheduled on Sunday ― the last day of the event; but organizers said it would cancel a planned parade.
Skelly’s, which according to New Jersey Family magazine has provided rides to the festival for three decades, said it would also cancel all rides on Sunday.
“Even though we have been given permission to operate the other rides by the state, we don’t have it in our heart,” the company said on Facebook, adding that it would be issuing refunds to customers.
People who know the girl’s family told NJ.com that they had been shocked and heartbroken to learn of the fatal accident.
“You come thinking the kids will be safe, not a freak accident,” festivalgoer Alex Ortiz, a Deerfield Township resident whose daughter was friends with the victim, told the outlet.