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Toddler Injured on Amusement Park Ride

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Houston, TXA three-year-old girl suffered minor amusement park injuries while on a ride at a local carnival. Meanwhile, the trial involving a theme park accident that resulted in a man being paralyzed has begun. Now that spring has arrived, many amusement parks and theme parks are gearing up for their busy season, while safety checks, to provide any amusement park accidents or theme park injuries, are being conducted.

The three-year-old was on a ride called the Techno Jump at the Houston Rodeo carnival. The young girl was big enough to be on the ride, but her mother decided she could not and left the young girl on the ride with her eight-year-old brother. After the ride started, the girl attempted to crawl back to her mother and was thrown from the ride. According to the Houston Chronicle (3/14/12), the girl fell, landing on her face and head.

Luckily, she did not sustain any life-threatening injuries, although she is reported to have suffered contusions on her face and head. In response to the incident, park operators changed requirements for the ride to ensure that adult supervisors accompany young children on the ride.

The Houston Chronicle notes that the rodeo was the scene of a death in 2011, when a 47-year-old fell 30 feet from the Hi Miler roller coaster. According to a Chronicle article, (2/17/12), the cause of the victim's fall has not been confirmed. Family of victim Brian Greenhouse argue in their amusement park lawsuit that he fell from the ride because he was not properly restrained.

The rodeo's operator says the ride is safe. The investigation did not determine why Greenhouse fell, although the ride was taken down before the investigation began. A lawsuit was filed by Greenhouse's ex-wife, on behalf of his son, alleging negligence and premises liability. The ride involved in the accident was not part of the 2012 carnival.

Meanwhile, jury selection has reportedly begun in the trial of a theme park owner, accused of allowing actors in a park to use a live weapon during a staged fight. According to The Star-Ledger (4/1/12), 43-year-old Scott Harris alleges he was shot in the head while playing Wyatt Earp during a performance of "The Sundance Kid," and was partially paralyzed by the accident. He also suffered severe brain trauma.

The theme park's owner faces criminal charges related to the incident, including tampering with evidence, possessing a handgun without a permit and second-degree assault. The accident occurred at Wild West City, a western theme park. In addition to a criminal trial, a civil lawsuit is also pending.

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