LAKELAND, Florida - A Florida mother is suing Urban Air Adventure Park after an incident in Lakeland, Florida in which her 10-year-old son slipped from a poorly secured harness, landing 20 feet below on the concrete floor.
According to a report from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, an inspector reviewed footage of the incident showing the boy prior to and after riding on the ‘Sky Rider’ attraction on September 1.
The report stated:
"The video reveals, prior to dispatch, the patron is seen walking from the harness area to the dispatch area without having his harness fully secured. The leg straps can be seen not buckled during the video segment. After dispatch the patron is seen riding the Sky Rider, holding his body weight with his arms. When arriving at the first dip the patron loses his grip and falls to the floor.”
The boy was air-lifted from the park after suffering serious injuries in the fall, including broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and head injuries, according to reports. He is still recovering.
Three operators of the attraction told investigators they had checked the boy’s harness and adjusted for size, “and there were no signs of the harness hanging or detachment.” One employee said she was trying to clip two children in at once to “‘make things go faster’”.
In an interview with staff at Urban Air’s corporate headquarters, investigators found that the ride was closed after the incident, and the three employees had been re-assigned. In a follow-up call with the general manager, investigators were told two of the employers were “dismissed from employment for failure to secure the harness on the patron prior to dispatch.”
The investigator found Urban Air Lakeland attendants “failed to ensure the patron’s safety harness leg straps were secured prior to dispatch as per the manufacturer.”
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services via Storyful contributed to this report.