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Texas Carnival Ride Accident: 3-Year-Old Tossed From Houston Carnival Ride [Video]

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Frightening video footage of a 3-year-old girl being thrown from a carnival ride has prompted Texas officials to re-examine ride requirements.

The young child, whose name was not released, boarded the Techno Jump Ride with her 8-year-old brother at the RodeoHouston carnival around 2pm Wednesday, according to ABC News. The siblings’ mother had decided to get off the ride just before it started.

The video of the accident (seen below) shows the young girl slipping underneath the restraining bar of the ride before she was tossed through the air and landed some six to eight feet on the platform below.

ABC News reports the toddler is now recovering in hospital after suffering head, neck and back injuries in the fall. Her family has hired an attorney.

The ride was shut down for three hours after the accident and managers of the Rodeo have announced they will change the ride’s height requirements.

Leroy Shafer, the chief operating officer of RodeoHouston, told ABC News the girl had met the height requirements for the ride at the time but said the child should not have been allowed to go on the ride without an adult.

“We’re now telling our ride operator, if it’s someone between 42 and 48 inches, let’s be sure the other person is an adult,” Mr Shafer said.

The ride had passed a safety inspection the day before, he added.

“This was a three-year-old without an adult, and we said she came under the bar, she came under the lap restraint,” Shafer told ABC news affiliate KTRK after watching the accident video. “I don’t think it changes anything.”

Reports are that Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman is now pushing legislation that seeks to require traveling carnivals to adhere the same safety standards as those that are permanent.

“Clearly there needs to be more scrutiny on traveling amusement rides,” Coleman said in a statement, reported by KTRK. “This is a yearly story with this particular operator that someone is hurt or killed.”

Watch video footage of the 2012 Texas carnival ride accident at RodeoHouston below:
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Readers chime in: Do you think Carnival ride requirements should be more strict? Could this accident have been prevented if the ride operators were more diligent or are the child’s parents to blame?

Source: ABC news

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84 Responses to “Texas Carnival Ride Accident: 3-Year-Old Tossed From Houston Carnival Ride [Video]”

  1. Donna J Slaughter

    Where were her parents? Why weren't they with her? To young to ride…..

  2. Edwin Bailey

    its both the operators and the parents fault. he should of looked before starting the ride up and the parents should of not allowed her on it in the first place.

  3. Heather Hallett

    ride requirements should be more strict yes, but why did her mother get off just before it started and why did she not take her young child with her? that sounds more like irresponsibility on the parent's part than the ride operator's.

  4. Cindy Luciano

    Why sue the carnival operator when the parents should not have allowed her on the ride? And, if they felt she was tall enough, she still should have been accompanied by one of her parents!

  5. Crystal M. Galusha

    her mother went on the ride, which is why they probably let the child on, then the mother decided to exit it just before the ride set in motion……most of the rides that say with parent will let small children on if the parent is with them, so the mother it mostly to blame for it….on the saftey check to make sure the child had her restraints on, the attendent should have noticed the child being too small for the restraints and ask the child leave the ride, even if the mother was still there, so attendent is partially to blame as well

  6. Myranda McDaniel

    Should maybe stretch the limits on ride requirements to larger limits as far as height vs weight vs where each person is placed in the ride. Those Magic Carpet type rides don't present much danger, but if you put the larger person on the inside, they will spend the whole ride crushing the smaller person, based on physics [which I know little to nothing about, but I have been that larger person] & the same goes w/ this story, the girl should have been placed between 2 larger people, including the dumb mother that de-boarded right before the ride started.

  7. Nicole Byers


  8. Nicole Byers


  9. Joan Price DiBenedetto

    Should be age as well as height requuirements; a 3 yr old is too young to be on a ride like that. I blame the parents, the operator wouldn't know her age. That's one tall 3 yr old!

  10. Jen Hurta

    I don't care if she's 6 ft tall, height doesn't make a 3 yr old responsible to be on an adult ride alone.They don't have the mental capacity or life experience to know what to do when something is going wrong. Oh yeah, definitely the parents' fault!

  11. Lynda Hopcraft

    And also the people in charge of the ride!Dumb ass shit!

  12. Iman Oldgeek

    Common sense says you don't put a toddler on an adult (or older child) ride without an adult, and in most cases even with an adult. Three is merry-go-round and rotating fire engine rides, not Octopus style rides.

  13. Crystal Dilley


  14. Janet Powell

    What were the parents doing, height is one thing, but obviously 3 is to young to be on rides. I think the parents should be held accountable for using poor judgement.

  15. Ryan Carranza

    The mother will win her court case, but she will look like a horrible mother. Hope the kid is okay.

  16. Heather Allen

    I don't blame the parents I blame the person that let her on the ride. He should have known she was to small to ride the ride. Even with a parent on the ride who's to say this still wouldn't have happened! Not all parents are qualified in safety on how rides work to keep us safe. The person operating the machine SHOULD BE! should have never been let on this ride!

  17. Crystal M. Galusha

    if the ride operators had any sense…when she takes them to court…i would counter with negligence and child endangerment against the mother for disobeying the sign

  18. Trickiest Ted

    both parents and the ride operator they are told the requirements of the ride. they are also responsible for the safety of the people on the ride. YES the parents are to blame here and so is the ride operator. he could have told the child she was not allowed to stay on without her parents

  19. Judith Dunson Hilliard

    Houston TV News reported that the mother left the ride because she was too big to fit into the seat. She is obviously too stupid to realize that the child – regardless of her height – was not old enough to handle that activity safely (without a parent by her side) and take the child off too. It does seem to me that the operator, while double checking all passengers' compliance with safety equipment use, would have noticed that the little girl should not be there without a parent. Bottom line ~ this mother really screwed up.

  20. Charlene Mitchell

    This woman should be charged with child neglect! Why did she get off the ride and leave a 3 year old child and an 8 year old to ride it? The judge should fine her..stupid woman!

  21. Ryan Carranza

    Crystal M. Galusha … That's their only case. If the operators had any sense to begin with they would have made sure that the kids height requirements were obeyed and don't just let the ride begin when the mother of the child exits the ride. I don't see how these operators win this case at all. Negligence can be said on both parts, but ultimately it's on the conductor of the ride because that person is required to make sure everyone is securely in.

  22. Terry North

    The parents fault for sure. What the hell is wrong with people? This is a THREE year old! So many stupid people in this country!

  23. Lori Estes

    I wont let any of my kids (oldest is 7) get on ANY traveling Carnival ride that actually comes off of the ground. My reasoning, the carnival workers are in such a hurry to get rides put together, they don't always put 100% effort to make sure rides are safe and put together properly. They also usually only have a small metal bar to go across your lap on these rides and for smaller kids, the bar doesn't even reach their laps. So, yeah, of course this poor little girl had to face 2 tragedies, her falling off the ride and having a mom that would let her 3 YEAR OLD go on a ride like that w/out an adult. She may have thought her 8 yr old son could look after her but if the ride was going that fast, there's no way he could have done anything to help her. The guilt that poor kid must feel bc of a stupid mom…SMH Feel better soon sweetheart!

  24. Ryan Carranza

    Your reasons are exactly why it's the conductors fault. Shouldn't they be checking to see who is in seats and if they are of the right height and securely fastened?

  25. Ryan Carranza

    The mother should have just stayed on the ride or taken her kid with her, but in the end the carnival ride will lose the law suit.

  26. Suzanne Zimmerly

    Mother needs to explain why she got off to leave and 8 year old in charge of a 3 year old? Shouldn't he have been screaming? or grabbing her? Just making a height allowance to me does not guarantee a person's safety, especially a little kid who might not sit properly during the ride or whatever. Of course there will be a lawsuit because "someone else" always has to be at fault. On the other hand, there seem to always be some accidents happening at these carnivals. Parents cannot assume these rides are safe at all.

  27. Diamond IntheRough


  28. JoAnne Braley

    Why did the mother exit? Was she afraid of the ride? Or, did she think there may be an accident and she can collect? This needs to be studied. When I was around 8 yrs. old, I went on a "loop the loop" with my cousin, and almost fell out the window (of the rocket-like enclosure) but Barbara pulled me back in. It was much more in the air than 8 ft. Perhaps they should have seat belts added, besides just the bar?

  29. Jessica Butt-Boggs

    They are suing because they can. And they will more than likely win the suit as well, bc this is the world we live in. No matter how irresponsible(and stupid) the mother was to leave the child on the ride, it will still fall on the operator for not making the child get off when Mom did.

  30. Carissa Robidoux

    yes it is the parents fault but the guy doing the ride should have noticed her slipping and stopped the ride

  31. Jessica Butt-Boggs

    Sadly enough that isnt going to happen. In this day and age, it is always someone else's fault!!!! Nobody can "man up" anymore. Its just plain sad :( The dumb mother is going to cry about how she would never put her child in danger, and the ride operator is going to swear he didnt see the mother get off!!

  32. Crystal M. Galusha

    Ryan Carranza i did post that also…but the mother obviously isnt fit…because the sign clearly stated without parent no entry…doesnt mean put you kid on and walk away…that is negligence…and as in my earlier post its the fault of the parent, the ride attenant, and possibly the carnival organizers for not properly instructing the attendees…i am a mother of two…and have seen rides where my children were allowed to go without me, and upon strapping them in determined to take them off the ride because they were not secure enough…but if the mother was like that with a safety posting on the ride and the child in this case was injuried…the STATE has a responsiblity to check the compentcy of the rides AND the mother. just be glad it was a back injury and not disregarding a pool sign, and entering the area and then her leaving, life guard or not, the child could have ended up drowning. parents still have to obey the law and warnings, especially since they are dealing with the life of a child who doesnt posses rational understanding of those things themselves.

  33. Thomas Hannan

    This was in Texas. If the ride operator had tried to enforce the height requirement the mother would have been complaining about her rights to make decisions for her child and the problems with government involvement in her decision-making. I am really sorry that the little girl was injured and that she was born to a mother who doesn't have the brains of a billie goat.

  34. Crystal Dilley

    Jessica Butt-Boggs yeah..dont i know it! ..the way i see it is they both should have to pay for that childs care costs because they were both at fault. and i hope her attorney isnt stupid enough to go along with that bull of hers cause i believe anyone with any sense wont make the oporator pay for it when she clearly left the toddler, and i truely hope that the judge in the matter has enough sense to see it that way too! she needs to help pay for the care, not only to make her realize that part of that was her fault too cause she left her on the ride, but because thats her responsibility as her mother also. I KNOW I WOULDNT LET OTHERS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY CHILD IF I HAD ANY!! ..THEY SHOULD TAKE THAT CHILD AWAY OR INVESTIGATE THE MOTHER/PARENTS SERIOUSLY BECAUSE NO MOTHER OR PARENT THAT IS IN THEIR RIGHT STATE OF MIND WOULD LEAVE A TODDLER ON A RIDE WITHOUT THEM!! I FEEL SO BAD FOR THAT BABY HAVING TO DEAL WITH THAT KIND OF CARE..WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY "CARELESS".

  35. Crystal M. Galusha

    Ryan Carranza just really sucks that a three year old is now facing the terror of the memory and a back injury for the rest of her life….which any one of those people acted like they should, could have comepletely prevented

  36. Jessica Butt-Boggs

    Crystal Dilley Ya know the sad thing is , that lawyer prob. tracked them down. They are just as $ hungry as the mother looks to be. I do have children 3 of them, and would have NEVER allowed my 3yo on this ride.esp without her father or I. I MITE have let my 8yo ride with his Dad (mom doesnt do rides :) ) I agree with you totally careless. And I too take resp. for my children. Its called responsible parenting :)

  37. Mauro Sr Hill

    Blame every person involved with this , from the parent to the ride operator , the owners of the carnival , and yes even the inspectors the day before……this is not some kiddie ride the danger was always there…..inspectors , owners , and the ride operator sould have seen this coming they have seen this ride in action many times ( what's wrong with seat belts?)…the parents , oh my god a three year old alone on a ride like this….SHAME ON YOU!

  38. Dawn Bivins Hart

    WOW! What mother in their right mind allows their 3 year old child get on a ride like that without a parent or adult with them? INSANE! I could not blame the operator for this one unless the operator knew the mother left the ride without her 3 year old child. Honestly I blame the irresponsible mother for chickening out of the ride and leaving her toddler to ride with her 8 year old brother, who could not or would not help his little sister who was falling off the ride. Makes you wonder if this was the parents plan all along, to make some money.

  39. Bertha Pae

    my kids rode on kiddie rides til 8-10 yrs old.even at 10 my daughter seemed too skinny to ride the roller coaster she wanted to. when she was 11 she sat with me.I made her wait too many stories like this.

  40. Daisy Fung

    Jessica Butt-Boggs It seems like most parents now a day think they're only job is to clothes, feed, and provide shelter for their offspring and let other people in society do the rest for them. Kids get fat, blame the food industry; messing around in a store and get hurt, blame the shop/owner; playing with fire or guns, blame the t.v. shows they watch; skipping school and not learn a thing, blame the teachers. Whatever happened to responsibility? If they don't know how to be real parents, they should either find some who can help or not give birth at all.

  41. Cheryl Stotler Miller

    Crystal Dilley The children put into the system of foster's hard to get them back..the parents will have to jump through hoops to get them back…The parents may be suffering from a possible mental health problems. There is hope for a brighter future.

  42. Tina A. Machia

    This child should never have been allowed on this ride in the first place! What is a matter with people and their common sense today!

  43. Tina A. Machia

    As far as the blame goes, the parents and the person allowing her to get on the ride are both responible as I said in my last post "where are "PEOPLE'S" common sense today!

  44. Crystal Dilley

    true! :) and a brighter future is only made possible for that child by the foster homes if that is the case that the mother could be suffering thank god there are other options for that baby instead of being stuck with someone so careless for a mother. MANY PRAYERS GO OUT TO THAT BABY!!

  45. Cheryl Stotler Miller

    My husband for a short period of time worked in the carnival business. He ran the swing right….he had little ones (5yrs) undo thier belts and stand up in the chair. His heart would freeze thightly at seeing this. He of course had to stop the ride which wasn't fair to the "good" riders..He would take the kids off the ride and turn them over to parents..if no parent was there he would tell them don't come back to this ride. It's stressful job. It isn't a matter of going on the ride…It is about what you do to make it safe. He had to balance the weight just so.

  46. Daisy Fung

    Both mother and operator are at fault. Why in the world would the siblings’ mother decide to get off the ride just before it started and leave the children behind when it clearly stated that a child should not have been allowed to go on the ride without an adult? It's a very bad case of parenting. Is the caution statement hard to understand, is she illiterate, or does she not know English? The operator should have made sure all the people on the ride are securely fastened and won't slip out/off the ride. If the operator made sure of that, then he would have noticed the mother was not there with the kids. Any rides that can spin (especially at a high speed and off the ground) should have a seat belt installed instead of just using a bar and a lap restraint. A person's size and the clothes they wear can always make those restraints utterly useless.

  47. Marci Chiovaro

    I blame both, the mother for not only putting the 3 yr old on but also putting the responsibility on her brother. How he must feel due to the accident. What was this mother thinking? I also blame the conductor of the ride he never should have let the little one on without an adult.

  48. Kathy Sizemore


  49. Amber Schafer

    How retarded do the patents have to be to let her go by herself, much less the carnies? Poor child

  50. Martha Lynch Harney

    alone???? who lets a three yer old do that? I'll say one thing I know they say things are big in Texas , but that was a big three yr old. I blame the parents for poor choice and they are so lucky it wasn't worse.

  51. Cris Cogbill

    Both Parent & RodioHouston are equally at fault. Parent shoud have observed ride befor letting minor on board without her by her side. Ride Operator should have seen child was unattended and realize it was to fast and centrifical force would pull her from restraint.

  52. Anonymous

    Totally MOM fault. I think was all plan, she is looking to get some money from somebody and the carnival was the perfect setting. The carnival should suit her for being an irresponsible parent. The carnival is INNOCENT. The operator follow the rules, not is his fault.

  53. Jennie Irwin

    I was thinking the same thing. I really can't believe the parents let her ride it with her brother. I would never let my 5 year old get on that even if I was riding it. I don't trust carny rides anyway.

  54. Paula Qualls Gurley

    It is the mom's fault. She was with both kids when they got on the ride. We don't know that the ride operator knew she got off. He/she has more to do than watch 1 family when he is getting everyone on and buckled in. Mom saw the ride requirements, she got her kids on the ride and left. This is all on her. It is sad that everyone has to pay for the mistakes of a few idiots out there, but if not then more kids will be hurt. I am sick of idiots who think other people should pay for their own stupidity.

  55. Adam Wilson

    I think the responsibility falls on both the parent(s) and the operator/carnival…the parent was on the ride with the child and got off leaving the child on the ride knowing the height requirements state a child of her size should be accompanied by a parent/guardian, so that is parental negligence. but still when the parent got off the ride operator had every opportunity to tell the parent that the kid(s) were not the right height to ride without a parent. so that was their own negligence. I feel due to the fact the operator did not remove the kids off the ride when the parent got off it should be the carnival's responsibility to atleast pay for half the medical bills…

  56. Cassey Corcorran

    This is a shared responsibility. The "parent" should never have left the child on without him/her and when the parent got off the ride the operator should have made the child get off also.

  57. Lisa Harper

    I agree!! When she got off, she should have taken her daughter with her no if ands or butts about it!!! What was she thinking???

  58. Lisa Hall DePlacido

    Amen sister! It isn't a kiddie ride! It is time that the parent takes responsibility for their child! If they don't ride that ride, their small child shouldn't either.

  59. Christy Valdez

    I blame the mother plain and simple she knows her daughter better than anyone and she should have know if her daughter could have stayed without her. Also just by looking at the video this is a really tall/big 3 yo!

  60. Adam Wilson

    Joshua D. Joyce yeah i know it will probably be all or nothing…but most of the time the "law" and government tend to not think rationally and truthfully about things…they think what will benefit the government most…in this case the courts might rule that the carnival was fully to blame and they will put more restrictions/taxes on all carnival/fairs/circus affairs in the future which technically isn't very fair or valid…lol

  61. Bruce Vaccaro

    Dawn Bivins Hart I have to agree with you–sadly this is the way the world is going. If I were in charge I'd toss that mom in the klink for a few days!!

  62. Wynema Mobley Qualls

    Common Sense!!!! I don't think too many folks have that attribute anymore……….. Blame some one else………

  63. Judy Lxn

    momma doesn't need an attorney, momma needs a whoopin…wth was she thinkin? And I hope the judge who gets this case feels the same way. She should have taken the child with her! If it was a different attendant who let her off, how was he to know about the youngsters height? Dang mom, no sense at all!

  64. Judy Lxn

    Jessica Butt-Boggs
    Maybe with eonugh public pressure this is not the case…clearly mom should have taken the child off at the last minute. No way should she win this.

  65. Charles Ridge

    ive been in carnival busniess 30 years this is shit all them parnets want is a check these people need to look at the human error factor mom has her head in her ass and just leaves her kids behind shes the one at falut the little girl I'm sorry for her I hope and pray she heals for mom you still looking for your head its in your ass your'e a worthless piece of human flesh.

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