A six-year-old boy from Louisiana encountered a horrifying incident as he fell from the Galaxy Spin roller coaster at Fun Spot Kissimmee, Florida, on Thursday, August 3rd, at approximately 3:30 p.m. The incident was reported to the sheriff's office, which stated that the child was riding with another boy in the same vehicle when the fall occurred.
Cell phone footage captured immediately after the incident revealed rescuers employing a boom lift to aid stranded riders. Witnesses on the scene recounted an emotional response from the family of the boy, who were visibly distraught and crying. An emergency stop was initiated to halt all other cars on the track, allowing paramedics to work underneath the coaster in the absence of a walkway.
The ride in question has height requirements that allow children 48 inches or taller to ride alone, while those at least 42 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult. Specific details about the children's heights and whether adult supervision was needed are yet to be determined.
An inspection of the ride conducted on Friday by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services confirmed that it was in normal operating condition, with no mechanical issues found. Furthermore, Fun Spot management stated that the ride was operating within all established safety guidelines and industry standards. A previous inspection on May 25 also concluded that the ride "passed."
However, the Galaxy Spin lacks individual seat belts for riders, a feature present in similar rides at other parks. Safety experts, including Virginia ride safety professional Ken Martin, emphasized the need for individual seat belts on this type of ride, arguing that one size does not fit all and that it's a matter of common sense.
The case has prompted investigators to request state records regarding the Galaxy Spin's history, but these records may be delayed for months or longer. Following the tragic death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson last year on another ride, new safety regulations were enacted. However, the state also passed laws like SB 904, which hinder the release of records during ongoing accident investigations. Tyre's family attorney stressed that this lack of transparency puts other riders at risk and holds the Florida Legislature accountable.
The state's decision on the release of the requested records concerning the Galaxy Spin accident remains pending. Meanwhile, the child involved in the incident was reportedly taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando last Thursday. However, a spokesperson for parent company Orlando Health has confirmed that there is no current record of him at the hospital.
What to Do After Your Child Gets Injured in a Roller Coaster Accident to Protect Your Legal Rights
When your child is injured in a roller coaster accident, the immediate concern is their well-being. However, protecting your legal rights is also crucial, especially if you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim. Here's what to do to ensure you don't jeopardize your legal standing, using Orlando as an example.
Immediate Steps at the Amusement Park
- Seek Medical Help: Obtain immediate medical attention for your child.
- Inform Park Staff: Notify the amusement park's management so that they can take appropriate measures and create an official report.
- Document Everything: Collect evidence, including photographs, witness information, and any other relevant details.
Consult an Orlando Amusement Park Accident Attorney
- Seek Professional Advice: An Orlando amusement park accident attorney will be knowledgeable about local laws and regulations, guiding you through the legal process.
- Understand Your Rights: An Orlando amusement park accident attorney can clarify what compensation you may be entitled to and how to pursue it.
Medical Assessment and Documentation
- Comprehensive Medical Evaluation: Have a detailed medical examination of your child's injuries, including future health implications.
- Keep All Medical Records: Maintain a complete record of all medical expenses, treatments, and diagnoses. These will be vital in your claim.
Gather and Preserve Evidence
- Collect Evidence at the Scene: This includes photographs, videos, tickets, and other physical evidence.
- Witness Statements: If possible, gather contact information from any witnesses. Your Orlando amusement park accident attorney may want to take their statements.
- Avoid Giving Statements: Refrain from providing statements to the amusement park's insurance company without consulting your Orlando amusement park accident attorney.
- Keep Communications Professional: All communications should go through your attorney to avoid any missteps that could affect your claim.
Filing the Claim
- Timely Action: Personal injury claims have a statute of limitations, so consult your Orlando amusement park accident attorney as soon as possible to initiate the process.
- Provide Necessary Information: Cooperate fully with your attorney by providing all required documents and information.
Supporting Your Child's Recovery
- Emotional Support: Provide emotional support to your child during this traumatic time.
- Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to all medical instructions to demonstrate the commitment to your child's well-being.