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Ride breakdown causes scare

Colby Fisher
Staff Writer

A teenager almost died recently at the local Coosa Valley Fair when the ride he was on malfunctioned.

The traumatic incident has local students questioning the safety of fair rides. Many rides are assembled within hours of arrival to the fair sites then disassembled and moved each week to other locations.

Sophomore communication arts major Taylor Slade was one of the attendees of the fair the night the scare occurred.

“I definitely did not feel safe on the fair rides,” said Slade. “I kept riding because I had spent the money to be there.”

The mishap has raised local concern regarding how safe these attractions are for fair participants.

According to coosavalleynews.com, 13-year-old Brayden Cooper faced a traumatic experience when the door to his ride came open while he was in the air.

On Oct. 5, Cooper was riding the Zipper when the incident occurred. As the door of his caged car came open, his harness was released. At the time, Cooper was 30 to 40 feet in the air, according to coosavalleynews.com.

Cooper was not the only one that faced danger. The Coosa Valley News website also said Cooper’s 10-year-old cousin Gracie Presley was sitting next to him on the ride.

Cooper handled the situation by grabbing the harness and holding it until fair workers were able to rescue him, according to coosavalleynews.com.

He was able to stand and keep his balance on the car located below him. The 13-year-old remained calm during the crisis.

The fair closed the Zipper after Cooper was rescued.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was then contacted to inspect the ride before anyone else was allowed back on.

According to northwestgeor- gianews.com, Cooper’s father Tony Cooper does not have any lawsuits planned against the Coosa Valley Fair, despite the fact that his son faced serious injury and potential death.

Cooper added that he has yet to be given a reason for the malfunction.

Senior nursing major Abby Patrick is another fair patron questioning the safety of rides.

“After what happened, I may never ride a fair ride there again,” said Patrick. “It is always scary riding something that was put together in one day.”

Director of Student Life Cassie Thomas attended the fair along with Patrick a few days before the ride’s breakdown.

“Half of the rides were closed when Abby and I went,” said Thomas.

“We were super upset that we could not ride the Zipper, because that is the ride we were looking forward to. After the incident, we are so glad we did not ride, because that could have been us!”