Woman, 21, flung from ride ‘like a ragdoll’ left with severe facial injuries

A young woman who was tossed from a ride at Hull Fair has spoken of her traumatic experience for the first time.

The 21-year-old woman says she is "lucky to be alive" after being flung through the air "like a ragdoll".

Jade Harrison was flung around 10 to 15 feet from the Airmaxx 360, hitting a teenage boy who was on the neighbouring Sizzler attraction.

She wants to see the ride, which she says could have killed her, scrapped for good.

Jade is still unable to smile – nine days after the accident – due to her facial injuries. She also lost a tooth and is likely to lose two more and faces weeks on liquid food, reports Hull Live .

The former waitress faces several weeks in recovery after the incident after having to undergo a two-hour operation on her broken jaw, with metal plates fitted to hold her face together.

Jade – who is too upset and embarrassed to show her face in new photographs – has instructed personal injury expert Hudgell Solicitors.

The law firm is now calling for a "full and transparent" investigation to provide Jade with answers.

Re-living the ordeal, Jade said she just remembers waking up, laid on her back, with a mouth full of blood.

She said: "I remember the process of getting on the ride, the ride started, and as it started, the barrier clicked a bit, I said to my friend 'Did yours just click?' and he said 'yes', so I thought that was fine.

"We must have been half way through the ride, it was bouncing a lot, spinning us around, it was OK, but then the actual carriage position of it changed, so all our weight was facing forwards onto the bar. My body was being pushed forwards and into the barrier.

"It started to bounce and that's when remember it tilting – I was worried about coming out but that's the last thing I remember thinking.

"I remember the sensation of falling out, but I don't remember what I was thinking. There wasn't a period where I thought the barrier was coming loose, it just happened all at once.

"I just remember seeing silver, as if it was the floor, I would have said I fell out and dropped straight to the ground below, I didn't know I had been flown through the air like a ragdoll until my mum told me in hospital."

Jade says she woke up, surrounded by strangers and at first she thought she was in a dream.

"I just remember being laid there and looking in the sky, and I could see the Star Flyer ride.

"People have said I looked like I was dead, with my eyes open. I thought it was a dream, I gave it a minute and then realised it wasn't a dream and that's when I started to panic and people were telling me not to move.

"I thought I'd lost all of my teeth, my mouth felt like it had been scrambled.

"I could see my friend, I could hear people saying 'how old is she' and asking him questions about me – I was trying to speak but because of what had happened, my mouth was full of blood."

Jade said she does not normally go on bigger rides, but her friend had persuaded her to go on it shortly after they arrived on the evening of Monday, October 7.

The ride is believed to be the same one which killed an eight-year-old girl in Australia five years ago.

Due to her nerves about rides, she immediately pulled down her own safety barrier. She said the attendant then came and took her £3 ride fare and fastened the seatbelt.

She said: “I pulled the safety bar down myself as soon as I got on as I get paranoid that rides are going to set off without my barrier being down."

Jade says she is not an "angry sort of person" but has been left angry about what happened to her.

She said: "The barrier must have come free, and when that happened my life was left relying on the clasp and buckle of an old seat belt. How can that be right?

Police and the Health and Safety Executive have been investigating the incident.

Jade said: 
“I feel angry as nobody should go to a fair and be thrown from a ride. It is disgusting really and when I think about how it happened it makes me angry that the that the safety systems simply didn’t do their job."

She has since been told the ride was not stopped after her fall, and instead continued until its session finished.

Jade has tried not to think too much about what could have happened.

She said: "I feel lucky to be alive, or to have come away from this without a brain or spinal injury which would have left me paralysed for life, so I do feel lucky in a way.

"I’ve tried not to think too much about what could have happened to me. What I have thought about a lot is how really small children are allowed to go on these fast rides at the fair, and how dangerous they are.

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