Sabrina Gordon, 31, a U.S. Navy veteran died after falling 36 feet off a new attraction at the San Bernardino County Fair. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, Gordon fell the night of May 28, 2015 from the FreeDrop USA at the fairgrounds on 7th Street and Desert Knoll Drive in Victorville. Gordon was recruiting at a CrossFit booth at the fair when she made a last-minute decision to go on the non-mechanical attraction where participants jump from the top of a scaffolding-type structure on to a large air pillow.
Witnesses said when Gordon went to jump, she hesitated and plunged to the ground. She was airlifted to a regional trauma center where she died. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has shut down the ride pending a thorough investigation. Her father Lyle Bell has said he plans to take legal action. FD Event Co. LLC owns and operates the FreeDrop USA, which made its California debut at the fair.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members of Sabrina Gordon for their terrible loss. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Injuries at Rides and Attractions
According to 2011 statistics, around 1,415 people were injured on rides and attractions in the United States. Overall, 1.7 billion people rode in attractions in amusement parks and fairs nationwide during that year. In other words, only about one out of every 1.2 million rides ended in an injury. Deaths are even more rare. Statistics show that the types of rides that have high rates of injury (about 21 percent) are merry-go-rounds and carousels.
When it comes to fair rides, the federal government does regulate movable carnival rides through the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most states have regulations over rollercoasters and other big rides, but generally, most of the safety regulation is left up to the amusement park industry.
Compensation for Victims and Families
In this particular case, we hope both police and state agencies will conduct appropriate inspections and investigations. There are still several unanswered questions here as to why there were nothing to protect Gordon as she plunged. Should the attraction have had additional safety measures in place for participants who may miss the air pillow? What if the air pillow malfunctions? Is there a backup safety device? These are just some of the questions that must be answered before the ride opens again.
Where negligence is involved, family members of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer can help injured victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.