Authorities focus on sky ride safety head of Summerfest, after incident in New York

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 26, 2017

Authorities are making sure a horrifying mistake that occurred on a sky ride at an East Coast amusement park doesn't replicate itself here in Wisconsin, with one of the year’s biggest festivals kicking off this week.

A sky ride at a Six Flags Great Escape in New York is temporarily closed after a girl's terrifying fall. The 14-year-old apparently slipped under the safety rail on the ride Saturday night. Witnesses said she held on for several minutes before dropping into the arms of strangers below.

Summerfest is two days away, and with this viral video from New York circulating, Sky Fair Inc. is doing what it can to make sure that doesn't happen here on its similar ride.

During a mellow-paced ride across the Milwaukee Zoo, the General Manager for Sky Fair Inc. Cyril Owens described what the company does to make sure the ride is safe for families.

"Safety is our number-one priority, we do daily inspections. It's a requirement, if we don't do inspections we don't operate. We do it every morning just like clockwork," Owens said.

Owens added daily inspections are also done at the State Fair Park and Summerfest rides operating under Sky Fair Inc.

"You should sit back and just enjoy the ride," he said.

On top of daily inspections, the state visits each location for a separate yearly inspection.

"He checks cable, he checks everything on the whole chair. It's a mechanical object so anything mechanical is liable to fail at some point and people need to know that," Owens said.

That's why they're doing what they can to make sure no one is harmed.

"I felt sorry for the young girl but that's not the norm, that's an aberration. I feel safe," said Kathy Wurster, a sky ride user.

It's still unclear how the teenager fell in New York but Owens believes it was a customer error not mechanical.