Operator Didn’t Stop Ride Quickly When Girl was Ejected & Killed, Family Says
DEERFIELD — The family of Hailey McMullen — the 10-year-old who died when she was ejected from the Xtreme ride at the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival — says an ride operator didn't stop the ride quickly enough.
In court documents filed in anticipation of a lawsuit, the family says that caused "second impact injuries."
State Police said have said Hailey was ejected from the ride at about 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 12. Hailey was flown to Cooper University Health Care in Camden where she was pronounced dead.
The ride is also known as the "Super Sizzler" by amusement ride manufacturer Wisdom. Ride operator Skelly Amusements took the ride out of service and dismantled it while the Department of Community Affairs took all the "Super Sizzler" rides out of service pending results from the Deerfield incident.
State Police and the DCA said their investigation is ongoing and would not disclose any details of the incident. A 10-year-old boy who'd been next to Hailey on the ride has come forward to speak with State Police after they put out an alert saying they were hoping to hear from him, but police haven't said what they learned from that conversation.
State Police have said foul play is not suspected in the case.
According to the family's account in court documents, filed in Middlesex County and described by NJ.com, Hailey was seated on the ride behind a fastened safety bar. The family says the ride operator did not see her when she was ejected. Several lawsuits may be forthcoming from the family, according to the documents.
Skelley attorney Dennis Marconi told NJ.com he denies the allegation about stopping the ride and said the family is welcome to conduct its own inspection.
Emergency calls from the night Hailey was ejected from the ride describe Hailey being sucked underneath the ride.
"She came out of it and it whipped around and pushed her down underneath the ride," one woman told a 911 operator.
Friends are planning a benefit at the Grove at Centron in Pittsfield on Nov. 14 to support her family and to remember Hailey's life to make sure that "the accident is not her legacy."
Brown and Marconi did not immediately return messages.