WICHITA, Kansas – A day at a Wichita amusement park to relax and have fun turned into a terrifying ride for a Wichita woman. The Ferris wheel-type ride she was in, went to the top unexpectedly with the door hanging wide open.
The general manager says the ride just moved on its own, as a mother and her adult daughter were getting off the ride. When the mother got off, the shifted weight caused it to move. That sent the car she was in all the way up to the top with the door to the car wide open. Sadia Coonrod was stuck up there for about 10 terrifying minutes.
Coonrod said it was frightening, and she doesn’t plan to come back again.
One Wichita father, Joseph Reece, who saw it all happen, says he’s glad he didn’t let his daughter get in the ride.
“Man she is stuck in that thing clear up there,” said Reece.
A terrifying situation all caught on camera had Reece concerned for Coonrod.
“I was scared for her up there. I was like man, she’s up there stuck, and I can see her hands pressed up against the cage,” Reece said.
Sunday afternoon, Reece took his 6-year-old daughter to All-Star Adventures Amusement Park for quality father-daughter time.
“We were walking over there to the ride because she was asking me if she could ride it. She asked me the last time we were out there, and I was kind of like, I don’t know baby,” Reece said. “This time I was thinking, I was still in the no stage.”
He’s glad he said no again after capturing Sunday’s incident. In the video, you can see the basket stuck at the top of the wheel and the door dangling open. Thankfully, Coonrod knew to stay away from the open door.
“For somebody smaller, a kid that couldn’t make the judgement as that woman did, could be a bad accident for somebody’s kid, and I just didn’t want it to happen to nobody else,” Reece said.
All-Star Adventures employees say this is the first time anything like this has happened, saying they check their rides everyday.
“Go through, just make sure, just a routine. Make sure everything’s tight and good to go,” said All-Star Adventures maintenance Tim Henderson.
He says there was just a little misjudgment in unloading the passengers.
“Once they took some of the weight out of one tub, the rest of the weight that was on its way down just decided to make its way down,” said Henderson. “Gravity comes down. Just a little miscalculation in the balance of the ride.”
A slight change in weight might keep some from riding it again.
“We’ll go back. We just won’t be doing any rides,” Reece said.
All-Star says safety is their number one concern, and they’ll continue to check their equipment everyday, saying before they put people on the ride, a thorough inspection is done everyday.
This ride was re-opened Sunday afternoon.