Family Trip to the Fair Turns Tragic

A family's night of fun at carnival in Port Orange, Florida turns into a terrifying ordeal.

Sherri Pinkerton was carrying her 2-year old daughter off a carnival ride when it suddenly started back up, trapping the two.

Pinkerton, trying to hang on to the ride and her child, was forced to drop her daughter to open arms below. Jessica Sanchez has more.

Pinkerton said, "While she was hanging there she kept crying and saying help mommy, but there was nothing I could do, I couldn't hold both of us. And I held on to her for as long as I could."

The ride took Sherri and her daughter 25 feet in the air.

Pinkerton said, "I let go of her and she grabbed my shirt so I had to pry her hands off my shirt and let her fall."

Her two-year-old child Gracie fell safely into the arms of a complete stranger below. Sherri held on until a city employee hoisted a ladder.

This is the first time that anything like this has happened, so it's been a really safe event for 13 years.

For the past seven years the rides have been provided by a company called Arnold Amusements. They refused comment, but it is known that they supply and train their own operators. However, inspectors have not said if this incident is operator error or mechanical failure.

One inspector did say "I think it was an operator error. What we got preliminary from the police was that he forgot to apply the break."

While they are physically alright, Sherri worries about the mental toll this will have on her daughter, but she knows the scars would have been much worse were it not for the people below who sprang into action.

Sherri said, " I'm so incredibly thankful to everyone who was there and was able to help her."

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  • by Rand Location: Rhode Island on Oct 6, 2008 at 07:29 AM
    A family was successfully rescued from a potentially fatal incident and the headline uses the word "tragic"? Does the author of this article realize that tragic should be reserved for those stories that *do* end in a death or perhaps a loss of limb at most?
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