Fairgoers catch toddler dropped from ride

/ Source: The Associated Press

Fairgoers at a central Florida carnival caught a 2-year-old girl whose mother was forced to drop her after they were both stranded 30 feet off the ground on a ride.

Paramedics also rescued the woman. No injuries were reported.

The "Crazy Bus" kiddie ride, which rotates like a small Ferris wheel, began to move as passengers were trying to exit Saturday, forcing Sherri Pinkerton to dangle by one arm while holding her daughter, Gracie, in the other.

She then dropped the girl, who was caught by fairgoers.

"I let go of her and she grabbed my shirt," Pinkerton told WKMG-TV. "So, I had to pry her hands off my shirt and let her fall."

Pinkerton said she could not hang on while also holding her daughter.

"There was nothing I could do," she said. "I couldn't hold both of us. I held onto her for as long as I could."

Port Orange paramedic Scott Russell said Monday he found Pinkerton dangling over the ride at a carnival about 6 miles south of Daytona Beach.

Russell and another paramedic used a ladder to climb to her. When they reached the top, they also found six screaming children inside.

"We got all the kids to move to the back of the ride, and we helped the woman climb back in," Russell said.

A message seeking comment was left with Pinkerton. State inspectors are investigating whether the ride malfunctioned or whether operator error was to blame.