PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A mother’s worst nightmare came true when her daughter fell to her death on a class field trip from one of the country’s tallest Ferris wheels.
Twanda Jones and her husband Byron say the “tragic and untimely death” of their daughter, Abiah, was entirely avoidable.
Having never ridden a Ferris wheel, the fifth-grade honor student should not have been allowed to ride alone, the parents say.
They sued the amusement park, Morey’s Pier, of Wildwood, N.J. – but not the school district – in the Court of Common Pleas.
Abiah, 11, and her classmates were taken on the field trip for honor-roll students, “to celebrate their exceptional scholastic performance,” the parents say.
They say the amusement park failed to warn about the dangers of riding the 160-foot-high Great Wheel.
“The carriages [on the Ferris wheel] sway a minimum of 90 degrees and are dependent on symmetric weight distribution, calm winds, and proper operation for stability,” and those conditions were not met when Abiah boarded the ride on June 3, her parents say.
“The winds during the relevant time were high, causing an unstable situation with the carriages. [And] the carriages on the Giant Wheel have no restraints,” the parents say.
Abiah, fresh from celebrating her 11th birthday, “was conscious during the fall, and survived the impact. She only died later after resuscitative efforts failed,” her parents say.
They seek damages for wrongful death. They are represented by James Beasley Jr.
The defendants are Morey’s Pier, Morey’s Attractions and The Morey Organization, all of Wildwood, N.J.