October 28, 2020
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10-year-old dies at annual festival in Deerfield Township

By Liya Davidov
Nation & World Editor

A 10-year-old girl died after she was ejected from an amusement ride at the annual Deerfield Township Harvest Festival on Oct. 12, according to NBC News.

Officials identified the girl as a fifth grader who attended Deerfield Elementary School, according to NJ.com.

“‘You come thinking the kids will be safe, not a freak accident,’” Alex Ortiz, the father to one of the victim’s friends, told NJ.com. “‘To have to go through that at something they go through every year, that’s really hard.’”

The rides close following the tragedy (Youtube).

According to CNN, she was riding the “‘Extreme,’” a Wisdom Super Sizzler amusement ride that spins horizontally in circles. She suffered serious injuries after being thrown from the ride. She was immediately airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, where she was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m., according to CNN.

The ride was inspected in New Jersey, according to State Department of Community Affairs data reported by NJ.com. However, there was no date indicating its latest inspection. 

Skelly’s Amusements, the organization in charge of operations of the festival’s rides, said it would not open the next day as it was scheduled to, according to NBC News. 

Skelly’s Amusements posted on Facebook, “Even though we have been given permission to operate the other rides by the state, we don’t have it in our heart.”

In addition to the continuation of the festival, a parade scheduled for Oct. 13 was canceled as a result of the girl’s death, according to CNN. On the same premise, rides and games were also closed on Sunday. However, CNN reported that Skelly’s Amusements stated that the festival would remain open “to offer a place for the community to come together in wake of this tragedy.”

Investigations led by the State Police and the Carnival and Amusement Ride unit within the Department of Community Affairs are ongoing, while Skelly’s Amusements is cooperating, according to NBC News. 

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