Amusement Park Ride Falls Over in Terrifying Freak Accident

swing rideIt's every parent's worst nightmare (or one of them): A swing ride at Beech Bend Amusement Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, toppled over on its side Saturday, injuring at least 12 people. Toppled over on its side?! How does that even happen?!


No details were available yet on the ages or identities of the injured, but some were believed to be children (well, I would think so, considering we're talking an amusement park swing ride). Eight people were taken by ambulance to the emergency room, and hospital workers were preparing to receive up to 10 more victims arriving by private vehicle.

None of the injuries were thought to be critical, but still -- how terrifying! Even for people who weren't on the ride, like Warren County Rescue Department Interim Chief Vince Willingham, who happened to be at the park with his wife and 3-year-old child when everything went haywire:

"I heard a bunch of crashing," he said. "I didn't see anything until it had stopped.

"The whole swing was toppled on its side. When I got there, there were still three people in their seats that couldn't get out. It just looked like it had fallen on its side."

After working to help free the people stuck in their seats, Willingham said the riders "were shaken up."

"Several of them had family members who were upset because they didn't know how bad the injuries were."

I bet! I keep thinking back to all the times I've watched my kids on a ride at an amusement park from the sidelines and imagining the horror of seeing the whole thing come crashing down to the ground ... the idea just gives me chills. It's the kind of thing we all secretly worry could happen, but we tell ourselves we're just being paranoid: Thousands of people ride these things every day! They've got to be safe! 

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Unfortunately, nothing we do is ever 100% safe, not even walking down the street -- so it's important not to let these freak accidents scare us to the point where we don't let our kids do anything. Still. I can't say I won't cringe the next time my kids ask to go on the swings at a carnival! 


Image via Desirae/Flickr

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