NJ Town Mourns: 10-year-old Girl Ejected from Festival Ride, Dies
DEERFIELD — Residents are mourning the death of a 10-year-old girl who was ejected from a ride at the annual Harvest Festival on Saturday night, as investigators continue to seek answers.
State Police said the girl was ejected from the "Xtreme" — also known as the "Super Sizzler," by amusement ride manufacturer Wisdom — at the 41st Deerfield Township Harvest Festival at the Rosenhayne Fairgrounds on Morton Avenue around 6:15 p.m. She was flown to Cooper University Health Care in Camden where she was pronounced dead, according to police.
Authorities are investigating how the incident happened. Police did not yet disclose the circumstances of the incident or the girl's identity.
The Super Sizzler was on the list of rides approved by the state for Skelly to operate in 2019. The Super Sizzler is described on Wisdom's website as being a 60-foot circle that is 24 feet high with 12 cars.
Colorado-based Wisdom and New Jersey State Police have not yet returned messages left Monday morning seeking more information.
“The Department of Community Affairs is investigating the carnival ride incident that happened earlier this weekend. Our collective thoughts are with the family and friends of the young girl who passed away in this tragic accident,” DCA spokeswoman Lisa Ryan told NJ.com in a statement. The DCA office was closed on Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.
A makeshift memorial to the girl with balloons and flowers was set up at the Dollar General store, 6 ABC Action News reported.
None of the rides operated on Sunday but remained open as a place "for the community to come together in wake of this tragedy," the festival said on its Facebook page.
Skelly staff posted messages on the company's Facebook page that they "don't have it in out heart" to operate the rides even though they have passed a state inspection.
Alex Ortiz told NJ.com her daughter was "bus buddies" with the girl and was glad the fairgrounds were open so that parents and kids could process the incident together.