CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – For most kids, the best part about going to the state’s fairs and festivals is riding the different rides. But for one family it quickly became a nightmare.
The McNeely family took their four children to the Freedom Festival in Logan County this weekend,
but after a ride on the ‘dragon wagon’, one of their kids needed a ride to the emergency room.
“It went around the loop and then it all of a sudden jarred. And when it jarred it made m lean forward and his face on the other car,” said Gabby McNeely, mother of the child. She goes on to say, “A crushing head injury, a concussion and then the nose contusion.”
Gambill Amusements, the ride company, says they took the necessary precautions after the incident. Shane Turner, the company owner says, “The ride was inspected by a certified inspector and reopened up about 30 minutes later.”
But the McNeely family says that wasn’t enough.
“They said it was a malfunction and that it was fixed, but they ran the ride 30 minutes after it happened and not only that, yesterday when kids was riding it, they would ride it and after that ride, they would tighten up the equipment and then let other kids on it,” added Gabby McNeely.
The child’s stepfather, Clinton McNeely, made a Facebook post about the incident. He says he then learned of other problems with that specific ride.
“There were people who were saying the week before that it was broke down at the Coal Festival. Somebody said it was broke down in St. Albans, and in Mullens, and I just don’t understand, ya know. If you’re having that many problems with a ride why continue to put other people’s childs [sic] at risk.”
However, Turner continues to defend their safety records.
“We have one of the best safety records in the United States according to the OABA, the Outdoor Amusement Business Association.”
The McNeely family says their son is doing much better but they say he is emotionally traumatized.
Gambill Amusements says they have their rides inspected every day, and that they work with the state inspectors on a regular basis as well.