More on the Giant Wheel Tragedy · Jun 23, 08:46 AM
A good LA Times story today notes this, in connection with the six-year-old boy riding solo:
Even at 6 years old, Reuben Castillo was an amusement park veteran. With his grandparents or mother, he had ridden the wild rides at Six Flags theme parks, Disneyland and Universal Studios, handling them fearlessly, the family said.
So after a couple of hours at the county fair, Sophia Castillo said she had no concerns about letting her smiling boy head onto the ride with a big group of children. Reuben exceeded the ride’s 3-foot-6-inch height requirement. Sophia remained behind with daughter Ariana, 7.
Castillo said she expected her son to go aboard with other children. But when his turn came, the ride operator put Reuben on alone.
Nothing seemed amiss, she said, until the Giant Wheel stopped to let passengers on, leaving Reuben’s car swaying near the top.
By all accounts, the little boy panicked. He started yelling to his mother below and leaning out of the car. She screamed at him to sit down, then turned her attention to the carnival worker at the ride’s controls.
“I yelled to him that my son was scared, to bring him down,” Sophia Castillo said.
But the ride operator, whose name has been withheld by authorities, spoke little English, authorities said. Castillo does not speak Spanish.
The full story is worth reading.
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