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The father of an 11-year-old Nebraska girl whose scalp was torn from her head by a carnival ride says that his daughter may never see again.
“They don’t even know if the muscles will work,” a distraught Timothy Gilreath told reporters during a news conference Sunday evening at Nebraska Medicine hospital.
“She was tortured,” he added.
The details of what happened at the Cinco De Mayo carnival in Omaha on Saturday remain unclear, but Gilreath’s daughter, Elizabeth, was on a spinning ride called the “King’s Crown” when she was tossed from her seat onto the floor.
“I stood up and I was like, yelling — I was like, ‘Stop the ride, stop the freaking ride,’” a friend of Elizabeth’s, Aushanay Allen, told NBC News.
Elizabeth’s hair became caught in the ride’s spinning mechanism, ripping it from her head and fracturing her skull.
“It went on for five to 10 minutes,” Timothy Gilreath said.
As the chaos unfolded, surveillance footage showed the ride’s operator dashing from the King’s Crown — possibly to get help — while a witness, Jolene Cisneros, rushed toward the ride and stopped it from moving.
There, she saw Elizabeth on the floor, bleeding.
"I was like, ‘You're going to be okay,” Cisneros told NBC affiliate WOWT. “She's just like, ‘Where's my pretty hair?’”
As authorities investigated the cause of the incident, Elizabeth remained hospitalized and unable to speak, WOWT reported.