A 10-year-old boy suffered "significant injuries” after he was thrown off a Moby Dick-themed carnival ride in northern Illinois in an accident that could lead to criminal charges, officials said Monday.
Police and firefighters in Antioch — a village just south of the Wisconsin border about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee — rushed to the Antioch Taste of Summer festival at about 2:40 p.m. Sunday, authorities said.
The boy was on ride called Moby Dick, which locks people in at the shoulders and then goes up and down as speed increases.
Village officials identified the boy Monday as Huntley Daniels. He was first taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, but because of the extent of his injuries, he was then airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago, the village said in a statement.
He "suffered multiple facial and jaw fractures and a significant injury to the bones in one leg," the statement said.
The youngster was set to undergo surgery Monday, Antioch Fire Chief Jon Cokefair told NBC News.
"He has some pretty significant injuries," said Cokefair, who estimated the boy's fall to have been 15 to 20 feet.
Witness Elliott Johnson told NBC Chicago: "I saw maybe on the third time around, he almost did a, like, a dive, like his hands were down and his legs were straight off the ride, and [he] landed" on the pavement."
Johnson said he also went on the Moby Dick ride and had problems with its safety bar.
"My bar was coming up over my head, so I was trying, every time I went up ... I was almost about to fall out. I would slam [the bar] down to close it," he said.
Parent Lauren Tardi said she spotted workers not always making sure the safety bars were securely fastened.
"I was concerned, because I could see that when they pulled it down that a couple of kids, a few times, could still put it back up," she said.
Mayor Scott Gartner consulted with law enforcement, fire and other village officials before he invoked "his executive authority to order the remainder of the rides" at the event to be shut down Sunday, police said.
Police, fire and state Labor Department investigators are leading the probe.
“We will be working with the Lake County States Attorney to determine if any criminal charges will be appropriate under these circumstances,” Antioch Police Chief Geoffrey Guttschow said in a statement Monday.
The ride's equipment and labor were provided by All American Amusement, based in Lockport, Illinois, in a contract with the village's Chamber of Commerce, Antioch officials said.
To ride Moby Dick, a passenger must be at least 42 inches tall, according to All American Amusement's website.
All American lists the ride's maker as Wisdom Rides of America, with Moby Dick being one version of its Genesis Ride line.
Representatives for All American and Wisdom Rides could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.