A South Jersey community is reeling Sunday after a 10-year-old 4th grader was ejected from a carnival ride at a popular fall festival and later died from her injuries.
New Jersey State troopers were called to the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival at about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, shortly after the girl fell off a ride known as the Super Sizzler, a brightly lit ride with 12 spinning cars attached to arms that spin in the opposite direction.
The girl was flown to Cooper University Health Care in Camden, where she was pronounced dead about an hour later.
Police did not identify the victim, but friends and parents named her as a 4th grader at Deerfield Elementary School in tributes posted to Facebook.
State police said they’re still investigating how the girl was ejected from the ride; Super Sizzler riders are supposed to be restrained by lap bars.
Officials shut down the festival and its rides Saturday night, and a state inspector arrived on site Sunday morning, giving the ride operator permission to reopen rides other than the Super Sizzler. But Skelly’s Amusements, which has been in operation since 1956, opted to keep them all closed and said they were fully cooperating with the investigation.
Festival organizers canceled a parade that had been scheduled for Sunday but announced that other events would go on as planned. A statement on the festival’s website said it would ‘be open today to offer a place for the community to come together in wake of this tragedy.”
Many visitors to the festival’s event page on Facebook argued that the entire festival should be shut down out of respect.
The harvest festival is a Cumberland County mainstay, now in its 41st year.
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[Featured Photo: Pixabay]