At a Cinco de Mayo carnival in Omaha, Nebraska an 11 year old girl’s scalp was torn from her head when her long hair got caught in a carnival ride called “King’s Crown”. Witnesses say that she slipped from her seat onto the floor of the ride and her hair got caught in the spinning mechanism in the middle of the ride. The ride kept spinning for up to 5-10 minutes as people yelled for the operator to stop the ride. She also suffered a skull fracture in the incident. Graphic images after her surgery show where her scalp was reattached right along her eyes. Her family says the doctor’s do not know if the girl will ever be able to see again.
An NBC Omaha News station reached out to our owner Larry Cossio (whom they call the carnival insurance expert) to find out what type of insurance process would take place in a situation like this. While this is not one of our insured companies, Larry told Omaha News that smalls claims usually take about 2-3 months to be settled, but with a severe bodily injury like this one it could take 1-3 years because the claims will normally go to court. Many things go into play such as medical bills, pain and suffering, the reaction of staff & the safety of the amusement ride. This means that not only the operators but also the ride manufacturers may be held responsible for an accident like this.
Carnival Ride Operators should make sure that rides are periodically inspected by a professional for safety & also do daily inspections on the rides. Operators must also make sure that riders are properly fastened in their seats so that they can not slip out. Any spinning or moving mechanisms should not be exposed for hair and or body parts to become caught in.
Omaha NBC News 6. “Insurance claims like the carnival ride accident take years, experts say”. http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/Insurance-claims-like-the-carnival-ride-accident-take-years-experts-say-378741141.html. May 9, 2016.
NBC News. “Girl Injured on Nebraska Carnival Ride May Never See Again”. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/father-girl-injured-nebraska-carnival-ride-she-was-tortured-n570821. May 10, 2016.