Update: Witness recounts scene after girl falls from carnival ride


BOZEMAN, Mont. - North Star Amusements tells NBC Montana their insurance company is now handling an accident on the Power Tramp ride at the Gallatin County Fair that sent a girl to the hospital.

Representatives tell us the girl was hurt on Friday, and taken away in an ambulance.

Workers would not say whether they planned to shut the bungee ride down for the rest of the weekend, or re-open it.

It was not open as of early Saturday afternoon, but it appeared workers were doing some sort of work on the ride.

Witnesses at the scene said the girl fell while mid-air on the bungee. They said it appeared a bungee snapped from the top.

Family members tell us the girl broke her pelvic bone.

"Out of nowhere, I hear this snap," said Hanibal Clayton, a witness to Friday's accident. Clayton's 4-year old niece was all strapped in and ready to jump on the Power Tramp ride at the Gallatin County Fair, when, "I see the teenage girl... and she had fell," he said. "It had to be ten feet right on the ground." He said the carnival workers and aid workers rushed to tend to the girl, but, "no one's helping us," he said. Clayton explained he struggled to get his niece's harness off by himself. "I have to take my swiss army knife that I carry on my key chain to actually jam the buckle of the harness off my niece," he said. The ride features bungee cords that hold up the swing. The ride hoists riders into the air so they can bounce higher. Clayton said he thinks one of those cords snapped, sending the teenage girl plummeting to the ground. "When we were walking by to the exit, the poor girl was still passed out on the ground," he said. Clayton said he understands the safety of the injured girl came first, but wishes they had attended to his niece and another boy on the ride sooner. "I didn't feel like they were concerned for us, and maybe the translated into they weren't concerned or the well-being of everybody, because I feel like, why was the ride broken in the first place?" he said. We asked North Star Amusement representatives on Saturday morning for an explanation.

They said they could not comment on the incident other than tell us their insurance company is now handling the accident on the ride. But Clayton wishes they would say more. "I hope at some point the carnival would issue a statement or something or apologize publicly or say something that would make Bozeman feel a little safer when you ride these rides."

Gallatin County Fairgrounds manager Sue Shockley said they have closely drawn contracts with the fair attractions, which include having proper insurance and liability for accidents.

NBC Montana is continuing to learn more details about what happened and will post updates as we get them.

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