HOUSTON -- An attorney for a 3-year-old girl who suffered contusions on her face and head after she fell from a carnival ride at RodeoHouston Wednesday afternoon says the girl hasn’t been acting like herself since the accident.
"The little girl lost consciousness when she hit the ground and was in and out of consciousness for some time. She had head and face injuries. Currently she is recovering at home, but she is being taken to a neurologist," said Houston attorney John Neese.
According to Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo officials, the girl was riding the Techno Jump Ride when she was hurt.
"Originally, the mother was going to ride the ride with the little girl and her twin brother. When the mother did not fit the ride, the ride attendant suggested that the twins could ride alone. Instead, the mother had an older relative of the twins ride with them," said Neese.
According to Neese, the ride attendant strapped the girl into the ride and lowered the bar.
"Apparently, this was not done properly because once the ride started spinning around, it caused the little girl to slip out of her seat. As the ride continued to spin, the little girl slipped farther and farther out of the seat, and eventually was slung into the air before crashing to the ground," Neese told KHOU 11 News.
Rodeo officials released a conflicting version of what they believe happened.
"She crawled out from under a restraining bar of a carnival ride, falling to the ride’s platform in the process," RodeoHouston officials said. "The ride had just started but had not gained any height."
Rides at the carnival have a height requirement, and the girl met the height requirements for the ride, RodeoHouston officials said.
RodeoHouston officials said the ride was inspected Tuesday, March 13, and had passed inspection.
The girl’s attorney says they are currently talking to witnesses and investigating all of the facts.
"We have a lot of questions, and we are concerned that the little girl was not properly belted by the ride attendant," said Neese. "The bottom line is that the little girl met the requirements to ride the ride, and she did nothing wrong. Whether a rider is 3 or 13 or 73 – they need to be properly belted by the ride attendant so they don’t come flying out of the ride when it starts spinning. We hope the Rodeo will take a hard look at what happened and take some responsibility instead of just pointing fingers. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else."