Boy, 3, Reportedly in Critical Condition After Falling from Pennsylvania Roller Coaster
The toddler was air-lifted to a nearby hospital.
A 3-year-old Pennsylvania boy was airlifted to a Pittsburgh hospital and is in critical condition after falling from a roller coaster at the Idlewild and SoakZone amusement park in Ligonier on Thursday, according to reports.
The boy, from Jeannette was in critical condition and underwent surgery on Thursday, The Tribune-Review reports, citing sources. Park spokesman Jeff Croushore told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the child “was talking” and “was alert with his family” after the fall.
The incident reportedly occurred on a wooden ride called the Rollo Coaster, which reaches 40 feet at its peak and extends for 1,400 feet, with speeds of 10 to 25 miles per hour.
According to CNN, the boy fell off about halfway through the ride, which was built in 1938 and is not equipped with seat belts, however the ride does have a height requirement of 36 inches and mandates that any riders under 48 inches be accompanied by an adult.
According to the Tribune-Review, the toddler was riding with his 7-year-old brother when he fell about 10 feet off the wooden ride and hit his head.
While a 911 dispatcher described the boy as falling, a statement from the amusement park obtained by the Post-Gazette said only that “a boy riding the Rollo Coaster with his brother was injured while riding the attraction.”
It’s reportedly unclear exactly how high the ride was at the time the injury occurred.
The roller coaster was last inspected and received a passing grade on Aug. 6, CNN reports. The ride was closed following the accident.
Thursday’s event marks fourth accident at a U.S. amusement park in the last five days. According to CNN, three kids fell from a Ferris Wheel at a Tennessee county fair on Monday, leaving a 6-year-old with a critical brain injury and 16-year-old initially in critical condition, but doing better as of Thursday.
On Sunday, two park-goers were reportedly injured when a launch cable separated from a roller coaster at Cedar Points park in Ohio.
That same day 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated when he flew out of his raft while riding Verrückt at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas. An investigation into his death continues, although many former riders have told PEOPLE that the only thing keeping them in the raft as they descended the 17-story slide was Velcro straps, that have reportedly come undone in the past.