10-year-old girl injured in freak Ferris wheel accident speaks out

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
10-year-old girl injured in freak Ferris wheel accident speaks out
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Sandra Bookman has the details.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- One of the young victims of that Tennessee Ferris wheel accident is speaking out after she, her sister and another girl fell more than 30 feet to the ground.

Kayla Reynolds is just 10 years old, but says she feels lucky to be alive after falling nearly 40 feet from the cabin of a Ferris wheel at the Green County Fair in Tennessee.

"Just really scared," she said.

In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America, Kayla showed the baby blue cast that's now protecting her broken arm.

"Falling on the ground, my arm saved me," she said.

She remembers the moment clearly when she, another girl, and her 6-year-old sister, Briley, were thrown to ground after their orange Ferris wheel basket got caught on another while the ride was turning.

"Mostly worried about Briley because people said she wasn't breathing," Kayla said.

Their mom and dad were right there watching in horror.

"We both took off running towards the Ferris wheel to the operator, yelling 'Stop! Stop! Stop now!'" Kimmee Reynolds said.

"She's like trying to reach and grab stuff to hold on to," Jason Reynolds said.

Briley Reynolds is still in rough shape.

"Tubes, swelling. She just didn't look like my child," Kimmee Reynolds said.

Doctors said she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Her family is sharing pictures from her hospital bedside.

"She had a harder impact, when she hit, she knocked out. Her eyes rolled back in her head," Kimmee Reynolds said. "Worst thing I have ever seen in my life. And I couldn't do anything. Everybody was like, 'Don't touch her, don't touch her.' But that's my baby."

Authorities said that what happened was an accident and safety inspectors are blaming mechanical failure.

But a close look inside that orange cabin revealed it had no seatbelts or lap restraints. Inspectors say those safety features are not required.

This is the second accident in recent years tied to the company that runs the Ferris wheel. In 2013, several people were hurt in Raleigh, when a ride called "The Vortex" started spinning as people were getting off.

In a statement Tuesday morning, Family Attractions says it's pulling for the girls in Tennessee. "By no means do we take this lightly as our main concern is the safety of the families who visit our midway each week.

The Reynolds say they still can't believe this happened to their children.

"I'm shocked. You're going to a fair thinking it is safe, you are expecting certain standards, thinking you are putting your child on something they are going to come right off of," Kimmee Reynolds said.

"It can happen to anybody. That's the scary part about it," Jason Reynolds said.