2 women, child injured after falling more than 15 feet from Ferris wheel
PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. (KOMO) - Two women and a 7-year-old boy were injured after falling more than 15 feet from a Ferris wheel in Port Townsend Thursday night, according to East Jefferson Fire and Rescue.
It happened around 6 p.m. on the ride at the Rhododendron Festival at Memorial Field in then downtown area.
"According to an eyewitness, one of the Ferris wheel carts flopped upside down, ejecting three occupants," said Bill Beezley, the East Jefferson Fire and Rescue spokesperson.
Officials said those three occupants, a 59-year-old woman, a 47-year-old woman, and the boy, fell 15 to 18 feet and landed onto the ride's metal flooring.
Fire officials said the extent of their injuries are unknown at this point.
The 59-year-old woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Hospital staff said she's listed in critical, but stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. She has multiple fractures and an open head injury according to Beezley.
"The women took the brunt of the fall. The other people fell on her," said Beezley.
The other woman and the boy were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The boy has since been released.
The ride was shut down and cordoned off for the investigation into what happened.
Officials said the rest of the festival is still going on as planned.
Rhody Festival Vice-President Brandi Hamon and President Debbie La Follete were fighting back a wave of emotions Thursday night. Their sons were stuck at the top of the Ferris wheel during the terrifying accident
“They're pretty shaken up,” said Hamon.
They said it took about an hour for everyone to get off the Ferris wheel.
The Jefferson County Rhododendron Festival released a statement asking for prayers for the victims and everyone involved in the accident.
The statement read:
First and foremost the Rhododendron Festival would like to ask for everyone to please pray for all the victims in today's carnival accident. This was a tragic event and our thoughts and prayers are with all involved. At this time we are letting the Port Townsend Police Department, East Jefferson Fire and Rescue and Funtastic Traveling Shows (which the carnival is owned and operated by) conduct their investigations. Any detailed inquiries regarding the incident need to be directed to the above mentioned agencies. Thank you to all the volunteers and employees that stepped up out of the crowd to make sure the victims were attended to and the incident was controlled. Once again please keep the victims and their families in your prayers.