Police say a teen girl’s actions—not a mechanical malfunction—caused her to slip under a bar on a Six Flags ride before falling into the outstretched arms of bystanders 20 feet below.
The 14-year-old girl’s dramatic fall at Six Flags Great Escape in New York was captured on camera in a now-viral video. Reports say she is expected to be fine.
“Human error” is the issue, said Warren County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Steven Stockdale, reported The Post-Star in Glens Falls.
After dropping, the girl fell into a crowd of people and was caught.
The girl “looks like she’s going to be OK,” Stockdale added. The unnamed girl has since been released from the hospital, and was only there for tests to make sure she wasn’t injured.
“It could have been a lot worse than it was,” Stockdale noted.
The Sky Ride was cleared for operation by New York State inspectors. An internal review is currently slated, and until it’s completed, the ride will stay closed.
“It’s not something that you could just slip out of,” Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, told PIX11. “If a rider wants to circumvent the safety stipulations, they can do it. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they put additional safety restrictions on this ride, maybe safety belts.”
A police investigation into the matter is underway, according to CBS News.
Several videos show the girl, who is from Delaware, dangling from the sl0w-moving, gondola-style ride, hanging on by her hands. She lets go and then hits a tree branch before people catch her. After the catch, a crowd whoops and claps.
Another child was also on the ride, police say, as CNN reported.
“They’ll catch you, honey, go ahead!” Loren Lent, who captured the video, called out to the girl. He later posted it on Facebook.