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Monday, June 6, 2011

First Picture of 11-Year-Old Girl Who Fell 100 Feet off Moving Ferris Wheel

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:45 PM | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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An 11-year-old girl has died after falling 100 feet from a Ferris wheel during a school trip.

Witnesses say 11-year-old Abiah Jones, from Pleasantville, New Jersey, was about half-way up the ride when she somehow fell from the ride’s car
Horrified classmates watched as Abiah Jones, from Pleasantville, New Jersey, fell from the upper half of the big wheel at just after midday on Friday as the ride at the Wildwood boardwalk, also in New Jersey, was still moving.
Police said the girl was over half-way up the ride when she fell from her Ferris wheel car.
She plunged into the area in front of the ride where children were getting on and off.
Police said there was no sign that it was an intentional jump or horseplay.
The ride owners said it appeared that the girl was alone in one of the car’s passenger gondolas, which is secured with a double latch.
The door of the car opens inward, making it difficult to climb out of, the company said.
The tragic accident happened during the boardwalk’s annual Education Extravaganza – a day for students from grades three to 12 and their teachers to enjoy the park and nearby beach and amusement pier.
The girl was on a trip with her school, the Pleasant Tech Academy.
Captain Lynn Frane of the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the girl died on Friday after authorities were called and she was taken to a local hospital.
She was pronounced dead around 45 minutes later.
The incident happened at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Morey’s Mariner’s Landing Pier.
Morey’s said in a statement the cause did not appear to be mechanical but was being investigated. Meanwhile, the Ferris wheel and a few other rides were closed.
‘The Morey staff and family offer our thoughts and prayers to the family,’ Morey’s said in a statement.
Chief executive Will Morey said: ‘I’d like to say how sorry we are for the incident that occurred here.’
He said it was the first death of a customer in the history of the company, which has owned amusement parks at the Jersey shore since 1969.
The Ferris wheel was cordoned off with police tape this afternoon and part of the landing dock was covered in white sheets.
After closing the Ferris wheel and a few others rides throughout the afternoon, the amusement park’s owners closed the entire park at 4pm.
It was due to reopen Saturday morning.
Two bags of the girl’s clothing were taken from the scene by police.
The ride passed its last inspection on March 17 2011, according to authorities.
The 156 foot tall wheel is one of the largest Ferris wheels on the East Coast and is about the same height as a 10-story building.
It has been a popular attraction since it was built in 1985.

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