A three-year-old girl was thrown from a carnival ride last week at RodeoHouston, a yearly event near the Texas city. The child was riding the spinning contraption when she slipped under the safety belt and bar, eventually falling to the ground.
Questions remain about the incident as representatives of both the rodeo and the family tell conflicting stories. RodeoHouston says the girl crawled under the safety mechanisms, while a family attorney claims she wasn't properly belted in.
Some witnesses claim the girl, who met the ride's height requirement, was trying to crawl to her mother, reports the Houston Chronicle. She had originally boarded the ride with the young girl and her 8-year-old son. When she changed her mind, she left the two together.
There is video showing the girl being thrown from the carnival ride, but as you can see, it is difficult to tell whether she was slipping or maneuvering with purpose:
Luckily, the girl appears to be relatively uninjured, though KHOU-TV reports that her mother is seeking a second opinion. Even if those results are negative, it is likely the woman will sue RodeoHouston and ride operators.
If it turns out the girl crawled from the ride, the mother's behavior will be closely scrutinized by attorneys and the jury. The toddler was only allowed on the ride with a "supervising companion," explains the Chronicle. She was at least 42 inches tall, but did not meet the height requirement for riding alone. Arguably, it is a parent's responsibility to decide who can adequately supervise their child.
Parents must also decide whether a child is mature enough to ride alone.
Given the conflicting stories, we will likely hear more from RodeoHouston and perhaps even state investigators. Everyone wants to know if the girl was thrown from the carnival ride, or if she purposely tried to crawl out.
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