Lightwater Valley to be prosecuted after boy fell 30ft from rollercoaster

A theme park will be prosecuted after a seven-year-old boy was launched 30 feet from a ride and left fighting for his life.

Friday, 29th May 2020, 8:45 am

The young boy was injured on the Twister rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley Theme Park near Ripon, North Yorkshire, in May last year.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed on Wednesday, May 27 that they will prosecute the operator of the theme park.

An HSE spokesman said: “Following the investigation by HSE, Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd, of Sherborne, Dorset, will face a charge under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

An air ambulance at Lightwater Valley in 2019 after a seven-year-old boy fell from a rollercoaster. PA photo.

“HSE is currently liaising with Leeds Magistrates’ Court to fix a first hearing date.”

Emergency services were called to the park in North Stainley near Ripon on May 30 2019.

The child was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary after he suffered life threatening head injuries.

Simon Moran, who saw the accident happen, tweeted at the time: "Just saw a kid fall off the Twister rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley.

"He mustn't have been strapped in right, or too small for the ride.

"As it went down the fast bit towards the 'souvenir' camera, he slid out and over the top of the carriage.

"Fell face down about 20/30ft to the ground."

The Lightwater Valley website describes the Twister ride as: "An awesome, fun-packed experience for all the family, with passengers boarding a strange waltzer-shaped ride car and heading on an epic ascent to the treetops!

"Giving riders the impression that they might not make it around the next corner, with the threat of plummeting into the treetops being a constant source of tension for parents (and amusement for the kids).

"With serious amounts of anticipation, tight turns and swift drops, watch out for the ride cars unhooking on the lower level as the spinning steps up a gear."

In 2001, tragedy struck the theme park after student Gemma Savage, 20, died when two cars collided on the Treetop Twister ride at the theme park.

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