California police say a woman died in a tragic fall Thursday at a San Bernardino County fair’s newest attraction. Sabrina Gordon of Hesperia was pronounced dead a short time after she fell from the “Free Drop” thrill venue as she attempted her free-fall from four stories tall, according to the LA Times.
Gordon, a 31-year-old Navy veteran, was among throngs of visitors at the Victorville fair to try out the attraction hosted by FreeDrop USA. It’s described as cordless and harness-less bungee-jumping. A person ascends to the top of a platform from 20, 28, or 36 feet and falls freely onto an airbag that towers 13 feet above the ground.
Witnesses say the woman appeared to have a “change of heart” and tried to abort her jump. Reportedly, a fair attraction worker tried to save her by grabbing her hands to no avail. Apparently, the woman couldn’t manage a firm grip and let go.
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She plunged awkwardly and contacted the metal platform before striking the pavement in a forward position just below the landing. Shannon Waldron, who waited for her son and husband to jump, witnessed the woman die in the fatal fall at the fair’s attraction.
“The [employee] reached out to grab her, but she let go and fell to the ground.”
Firefighters found the woman unresponsive at the scene. She was lodged between the platform and an air-filled pillow. First responders transported the fall victim to Victor Valley Global Medical Center nearby. However, she required further trauma care and was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center where she was formally pronounced dead.
In wake of the woman’s death in the fall, fair officials told reporters the attraction is closed indefinitely. There is no timetable for reopening — if any at all.
Gordon was working at a CrossFit booth at the fair on the day of the fatal fall. Her father, Lyle Bell, says he is not sure of the events that led to the death of his daughter. However, he believes the woman hit her head on the fair attraction.
“You get professional stunt people that do these things. You don’t have ‘Joe Blow’ off the street for $15 jump out of a tower on an airbag. They’re letting people do this down there. It’s their first year there, and sure enough, somebody gets killed, my daughter.”
A spokesperson for the extreme attraction says that despite the fatality, the business has logged over 50,000 successful jumps without a casualty in over 36 American cities.
[Photo credit: ABC 7 Chicago via Twitter screenshot]