Parents of Girl Killed in Ferris Wheel Accident Want Tougher Safety Regulations

Filed under: In The News

The parents of an 11-year-old girl who fell to her death from a Ferris wheel earlier this month are hoping the tragedy will lead to an increase in amusement park safety regulations.

Abiah Jones was on a school trip to reward students making the honor roll at Morey's Piers Amusement park in Wildwood, N.J., when she died after falling from a Ferris wheel that stands 156-feet tall, "Today" reports.

According to the news show, no one knows why Abiah, who was on the ride alone, fell -- an investigation is ongoing -- but her parents say the Ferris wheel did not have a cage, seat belts or restraints.

"It's the law," her father, Byron Jones Jr., tells "Today." "You must put your seat belt on while operating a motor vehicle, so why shouldn't a Ferris wheel have a restraint?"

In New Jersey, as in most of the country, restraints are not required on Ferris wheels, "Today" reports. The Morey's Piers ride had recently passed an inspection and this was the first fatality ever at the park.

The news show says in the wake of Abiah's death, state inspectors are now telling amusement park managers to require that at least two people ride in a Ferris wheel gondola and are enacting a 54-inch height requirement, one that Abiah would have met.

"Safety is the key," Jones tells "Today." "And we just need to pay more attention to our child. Just be mindful that things can happen."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.