A 14 year old girl from Greenwood, Delaware was in the most horrific event of her young life at a Queensbury, New York, Six Flags Amusement Park.
The young girl was alongside her brother on a slow moving aerial gondola right when she lost her balance and began to fall out of the carriage.
Her brother was able to grab her before she fell to the ground but wasn't strong enough to pull her to safety. Fortunately for her however many patrons and park employees were able to gather beneath the carriage.
Matthew Howard Sr. said he was just leaving a New York amusement park Saturday evening with his family when he heard someone screaming for help. He, along with several others were shocked at what they saw.
Upon looking up into the air they witnessed a young girl dangling from a ride 25+ feet in the air. She's was crying hysterically alongside her brother who said he couldn't hold onto the girl.
Howard, 47, and his 21-year-old daughter, Leeann Winchell, positioned themselves directly under the girl as the ride stopped and security came running. A crowd of onlookers gathered, many filming, others calling for help.
“I said ‘It’s ‘OK! It’s OK to let go, I’ll catch you, honey,'” said Howard. The girl lost her grip and fell down where Howard and Winchell, arms outstretched, waited with a few other good Samaritans.
The two took the brunt of the girl’s fall, tumbling to the ground themselves after the catch. They and others carried to her to where emergency workers later arrived to help her.
Howard, a contractor from Schenectady, was treated and released for a minor back injury after the rescue. “I couldn’t let that little girl die,” Howard told The Associated Press on Sunday. “No one wants to put himself underneath a body like that, but I couldn’t stand by and watch.”
Officials inspected the ride and said it was in proper working order. The park said in a statement that the safety of guests is a top priority.
“There does not appear to be any malfunction of the ride, but we have closed the attraction until a thorough review can be completed,” a park official said.
On Sunday, park officials said the ride had been cleared for operation, but would remain closed.
“We are reviewing our internal procedures to ensure the safety and security of our guests and team members,” park officials said.