The young girl, whose name was withheld from the media due to privacy concerns, had been in attendance at York’s annual Copmanthorpe Carnival, where she had been riding the ‘Cliffhanger Miami Trip’ attraction at the time of the incident that led to her personal injury claims. A malfunction in a restraint bar caused the thirteen year old to slip from her seat, sending her plunging four metres down to the hard concrete floor below her.
In a stroke of amazing luck, the young schoolgirl managed to walk away with only superficial injuries. She was still taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, where she received treatment for the cuts, bruises, and abrasions that she suffered in the dramatic fall. Shortly after the incident, the Government’s Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the fairground attraction, discovering that the malfunctioning restraint was a known issue.
Dewsbury native Terry Reynolds, a twenty eight year old attendant at the fairground, had been made aware of the issue by a passenger that had previously been on the ride. The passenger only barely escaped falling from the attraction herself, and only did so by keeping the bar from flying upward, thanks to the aid of some friends.
Mr Reynolds was prosecuted by the HSE for his role in the incident, which led him to plead guilty for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. As a result, he was given a three year conditional discharge and also told to pay £750 in damages to the young girl.
In the wake of the hearing, one HSE inspector was incredulous that the attendant neglected to check the restraint despite the warnings he received from another visitor to the fairground.