Scary Ride for Young Girl at Pumpkin Fest

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Fun turns to fear for a young girl at Morton’s Pumpkin Festival.

She was left holding on and screaming after a ride started with the door open.

“It was terrifying, especially standing in line with my nine year old.” 

Jasmine Wickham heard those screams Saturday night the festival, when she saw the young girl holding herself inside the Rock-O-Plane, upside down, with no restraint holding her in, and the door wide open.

“I was a wreck, I was in tears, I mean, for any mother, I mean, there were tons of us standing around, and there was nothing we could do,” Wickham said.

She took a video, and posted it to Facebook while she and other parents pleaded with the operator to stop the ride.

The Morton fire department says it was never called, and festival leaders are asking why.

“We have already met with the carnival operator early this morning, to talk through the incident and the proper procedure,” said Leigh Ann Brown, Executive Director for the Morton Chamber of Commerce.

She and others are still trying to figure out who or what is to blame as the Rock-O-Plane sat in Morton Monday morning.

“We are continuing those conversations so we’re all well aware of what happened and what can be done to correct that,” Brown said.

The company that owns the ride, Big M, says it’s also investigating, saying the ride didn’t break down and the door didn’t malfunction, but says its working to improve its safety. 

“Proper inspections were completed, we do know that, but we really want to do our due diligence, that is our top priority always,” Brown said.

Parents like Wickham say it’s an image they’ll never forget, and are thankful the girl wasn’t injured.

“Take your time and I mean, worry about the safety of those kids, I honestly feel that ride needs to be shut down,” she said.

The Morton Police Department would not confirm or deny that it was sent to the festival Saturday night.

The Illinois Department of Labor says it’s also received complaints against Big M after this incident.

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