July 13, 1997 in Nation/World

Men Who Fell From Carnival Ride Tried To Rescue Boy

New York Times
 

Two men who fell from a New Jersey amusement park ride Friday night were trying to help a 4-year-old boy who was stranded on the ride after his mother got off, witnesses said Saturday.

Danielle Wood, 20, who works across the boardwalk from the Sky Ride, said a woman with her young son had reached the place they were supposed to get off the Sky Ride about 10 p.m. Friday, but the little boy did not want to. “The little kid stayed in,” she said, and the ride swung him back into the air, “but the safety bar wasn’t down over him. These two guys tried to save him by grabbing onto the chair.”

The police have identified the two men only as a 21-year-old and a 55-year-old. Wood said the younger man was a ride operator, and the other man seemed to be a relative of the 4-year-old. The boy and his mother were not identified.

After a few seconds, the operator stopped the ride, Wood said, leaving the two men dangling. “They were hanging there a good five to 10 minutes,” she said.

The boy’s mother was at the edge of the boardwalk, looking up and screaming at him to calm down as he cried. A crowd gathered and also yelled at the boy to stay put.

“It was chaos,” Woods said. “The little boy was screaming like crazy.”

The two men, she said, appeared to decide to drop to the ground. The operator then put the ride in reverse and brought the boy back to safety, Woods said. The injured men were listed in stable condition Saturday.

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