A park-goer who captured disturbing video of a 32-year-old man clinging to a Utah amusement park ride before plunging to his death said she thought the incident was a stunt.
Visitors at the Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington spotted the unidentified man clinging to the safety bar of the Sky Ride chair on Saturday as it moved over a water fountain before he plummeted about 50 feet to his death.
Lucy Grace Astilla recorded the tragic incident while riding with her husband, the Gephardt Daily of Utah reported.
“I thought it was a stunt, or he is a gymnast practicing for ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ rehearsing, but then I noticed he didn’t have any equipment that would save him from a fall,” Astilla told the paper.
When the couple reached the ride operator, she said she called out, “‘Hello, can you, can you please stop the ride? Someone is hanging down.’ And that’s the time we heard screaming from other people, but we were by the roller coaster, so I think maybe it was for that, but it wasn’t. The screaming was because the man fell.”
By the time she reached the scene, a large crowd had formed.
“People called 911. It was all so quick,” Astilla said.
The woman said she later saw a news report that said the ride had malfunctioned, but she did not believe that was the case, so she decided to share her footage with reporters.
“I didn’t think that was fair, and I just wanted to prove to them that there’s no malfunction,” she told the news outlet, adding that she wonders if the man could have been saved if he had not been on the ride alone.
“From that time, I have had no good sleep,” Astilla said. “I’m still having a traumatic experience, but I think I can manage.”
Both police and a Lagoon spokesperson said it did not appear the ride malfunctioned, Fox 13 Now reported. An investigation is ongoing.
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