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Amazing Carnival Rescue

The Crazy Bus went crazy last weekend, nearly killing a woman and her 4-year old daughter.

In Port Orange, Florida, Sherri Pinkerton and Gracie enjoyed a turn on the Ferris wheel-type ride. But just as they were starting to get off of the ride, it went back up into the air. According to witnesses, the mom’s leg got caught in something under the ride. So for several minutes (eyewitnesses reported anything from 3 to 10 minutes), as horrified fair-goers watched from below, Sherri dangled from the ride by one arm, 35 feet in the air. The other arm was holding her 4-year old.

After watching for a little while without any apparent interaction from the ride operator a group of onlookers below realized that the mother was not going to be able to hold onto both of them much longer. They began to urge her to drop Gracie into their arms.

When Sherri could no longer hold her daughter, she let go, but the girl grabbed her shirt and clung for dear life. Mom had to pry Gracie’s fingers off of her shirt and let her drop into the arms of strangers who did catch her as promised. A fire rescue crew used a ladder to help Sherri back into the ride alongside several screaming children who were still in the bus.

Sherri Pinkerton’s reaction to all of this was very gracious. “I’m so incredibly thankful to everyone who was there and was able to help her,” she said. She’s politely quiet about the fact that preliminary reports say the operator forgot to put the brake on.

It’s good to know strangers still help. It’s good to know that people come through. I can’t imagine putting my child’s life literally in the hands of strangers, but what could she do? They would have both died. I’ve been thinking about the four year old, too. I can imagine that Mom was telling her I won’t let you fall. I’ve got you. It’s going to be OK. And then a few minutes later Mom lets go. And not only that, but when you catch yourself, she rips you away. I’m not being critical of the Mom. I think she’s amazing. I’m just sympathizing with this toddler. She’s old enough to know what was going on. She must have been terrified, as well as hurt emotionally.

I’m so glad this all worked out the way it did. Kudos to you, Sherri Pinkerton, for your bravery and strength. The prayers of many Americans are with you and your family today, I’m sure.


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